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A Lodge in the Wilderness 




A Lodge in the Wilderness 

■ V 

A Lcxige in 

The Wilderness 


I h 

■'> v4 





"Garden soil is good — but cloudberries will not 
grow on it ! "— TURGiNlBFF. 






j4U Right* nurvU 

p^Pj.i •;:L-.■: 



• . 

. 'D 

- A . 

i^ .. 1 


. * 

■ • 

G. C. S. 


Mr FBAirom Cabit 
Lord Affdt 

Lord LAUV0I8T0V . 

Mr Ebevbzib Wakifiild 
Mr EiRio LownramN 
Sir Edward ComiDnni . 
Colonel Alaotazb Graham 

Mr Liwn Aotburt 
B(r Hugh Somvbvilli. 

An nUsUifferU Millionaire, 

A Conservative; eometime Prime MimuUr of 

An Ex-Viceroy; attached to no poliiieal 

A Oanadian Stateeman, 

A Jewiek Financier. 

An Explorer and famous Big-yame Hunter. 

A Soldier and Travdler ; now qf the Intel' 
ligence Department. 

A Journalist. 

The DucTHiSB of BfAxrov 


Lady Waroliff 

Lady LnoT Oardnir 
Mrs ToRKR 

Mn Delorahtb 
Lady Flora Bbxtni 
Mifls Marjory HATarouv. 

Wife of George, I4th Duke qf Maxton and 
Champ/leury, at one time a Liberal See* 
retary qf State ; Sister qf Lord Appin, 

A Tory; Wife of a vfell-known member qf the 
Jockey Club. 

Wife qf Colonel WHbraham, C.B., on service 
in South Africa. 

Wife qf Sir Arthur WareUff, K.C.B., 
K.O.S.L,a Oeneral OJieer commanding 
in India, 

Wife of Sir Hamilton Gardner, O.C.M.O., 
High Commissioner qfEast Africa. 

An American; Wife of the Rt. Hon. Henry 
Torke, a Liberal Secretary qf/^ate. 

Qf Deloraine Manor, Shropshire. 

Niece of the Duchess qf Maxton. 



Mb Francis Cabey has been long a familiar 
name to the world — to some people as the most 
patriotic of millionaires, to others as the richest 
of patriots. Exiled in early youth to the Colonies 
for his health's sake, he made a profession of a 
necessity, and secured in a short space of time 
bodUy weU-being and an immense fortune. Few 
could trace in the square muscular figure of forty- 
five the pallid and consumptive boy of twenty. 
By a singular tiim of fate he had stood by the 
idle of^eat industries. He was the pioneer 
of the richest gold-mining area in the world, and 
scarcely less famous were his shipping lines, his 
railways, his newspapers, his teak-forests, and his 
vast tobacco-farms. Money made by enterprise 
was invested with wisdom, and his fortune was 



already almost out of bounds when it was doubled 
by the success of a copper venture which bade fair 
to rival Montana. And yet in the prime of life, 
in spite of the wQes of many women, he remained 
a bachelor. Some attributed the fact to an early 
and melancholy love affair; others, with better 
judgment, ascribed it to his preoccupation with 
the fortunes of his country. In Bacon's phrase 
he had '^ espoused the State,'' and found in her a 
mistress fairer and more exacting than any mortal 

In London he had modest chambers on a second 
floor in Half- Moon Street, but no man owned 
more lordly country-houses. The feudal manors 
of impoverished English squires, the castles of 
impecunious Highland chiefs held for him no 
charms. It was his business, he said, to show 
the world a more excellent way. At the head 
of a long glen in the Selkirks, where snow-peaks 
rose out of pine-forests, he built himself a hunting- 
box. In a scented Kashmir valley, among 
thickets of rhododendron, he had another, where 
lamas and Turcoman merchants, passing on their 
way from Leh to Srinagur, brought all the news 
of Central Asia. A bungalow in a Pacific isle, a 
fishing-lodge in New Zealand, and a superb farm 
of the old Dutch style in the Blaauwberg, were 
other of his dweUings. But his true home, if a 


nomad can be said to have one, was his house of 
Musuru, on the scarp of the Mau plateau, looking 
over the great trough of Equatoria. Here, in the 
midst of a park of many thousand acres, he lived 
as Prester John may have lived in his Abyssinian 
palace. He might lounge through the world of 
fashion in an old tweed coat, but his heart was 
on the side of magnificence. He sought for 
romance in life, and found it by the device of 
importing the fine flower of civilisation into the 
stronghold of savagery. It pleased him to shuffle 
unregarded in a London crowd, knowing that 
over seas half a continent waited upon his will. 
His amazing energy annihilated space, and he 
found time in a crowded life to live in his many 
houses more regularly than the modest citizen 
who owns a mansion in Bayswater and a villa 
at Cannes. 

To the world Carey remained a mystery. 
Every halfpenny paper placarded his achieve- 
ments, his arrivals and departures were chronicled 
like those of Royalty, his speeches in the City and 
his rare appearances on public platforms drew 
crowds which were denied to eminent statesmen. 
But the man himself was obscure. He was rarely 
seen in society, and country-houses knew him not. 
Nevertheless he contrived in some way to obtain 
the friendship of most men and women who were 


worth knowing. His influence was so well recog- 
nised, and yet so inexplicable, that many good 
people were heard to call it sinister. And yet 
few had any complaint to make of his doings. 
He spent his great income generously and 
prudently on public needs. A vast scheme of 
education, inaugurated by him, tied the schools 
of the Colonies to the older institutions of 
England. One ancient university owed the 
renewal of her fortunes to his gifts. In the 
slums his dwellings for workmen had made his 
name a household word, and at his own cost he 
yearly relieved the congestion of great cities by 
planting settlements in new lands. His activity, 
indeed, was so boundless that, had he figm*ed 
more in the public eye, enemies would have 
sprung up out of sheer dulness of understanding. 
Knowing this, he kept wisely to his humble re- 
tirement, that his usefulness might be marred by 
no private grudges. Ho w« .Lptod «, » kind 
of national providence, scarcely more to be criti- 
cised than the Monarchy. If some called his 
faith Imperialism, others pointed out how little 
resemblance it bore to the article cried in the 
market-place. It was a creed beyond parties, 
a consuming and passionate interest in the 
destiny of his people. 

On one point alone he found critics. It was 



his habit to take every year a party of his friends 
to some one or other of his remote homes. Now 
it would be a band of sportsmen whom he would 
carry off to the Selkirks or Kashmir for some 
weeks of unforgettable hunting. Now he would 
take a group of his less active acquaintances to 
j his house at the Cape, where in the midst of vine- 

yards and heathy mountains they could find 
I good talk and a complete seclusion from the 

world. Once in a while he would have a gather- 
ing at his East African dwelling, and these were 
} the choicest of his entertainments. The guests 

who were fortunate enough to share his hospit- 
I ality came to form a set by themselves, bound 

{ together by the tie of delectable memories. 

Their enemies christened them " Carey ites," and 
said hard things about the power of the purse ; 
but the coterie was too large, too distinguished, 
and too representative to be sneered at with 
impunity. The Badical journalist found nothing 
j to cavil at in the man who, so far as he saw, 

lived simply and wrought effectively for the poor. 
1 The Tory member could not speak ill of one who 

I was so noted a sportsman and so generous a host. 

The plain man could only admire a figure of such 
■ vitality, who was original even in his pleasures, 

i It will be remembered that some little while 

I ago the creed which is commonly called Imperial- 



ism was tcMSsed down into the arena of politics 
to be wrangled over by parties and grossly 
mauled in the quarrel. With the fall of the 
Government which had sanctioned such tactics 
there came one of those waves of reaction which 
now and then break in upon our national stead- 
fastness. The name of ^'Empire'' stank in the 
nostrils of the electorate. Those who used it 
fell like ninepins; in the huge majority which 
the new Ministry acquired there were many 
who openly blasphemed it; and the few who 
still cherished the faith thought it wise to don 
temporarily the garb of indifference. Carey 
viewed the change with philosophic calm. He 
trusted the instincts of his race, and was not 
sorry that the dross should be purgfed and the 
.pS purified by mirfbrtun. u'oeeurred to 
him, however, that a little quiet conversation 
among some friends of his own way of thinking 
might be useful by way of clarifying their minds. 
It is well after defeat to make a short sojourn 
in the wildemesa That year, accordingly, he 
selected his party with especial care, and fixed 
Musuru as the place of entertainment. The 
months of August, September, and October were 
chosen as the best time, partly because it was 
the cool season in East Africa, partly because 
it was the Bar and Parliamentary vacation — 


though, indeed, as he reflected, none of his 
guests had for the present much to do with 
Parliament. His old friend the Duchess of 
Maxton, and Mr Hugh Somerville, a young 
man of thirty, who, after some years of foreign 
travel, was now endeavouring to make a fortune, 
were called in to assist in his selection. One 
rule only he laid down as inviolable — "I will 
have no husbands and wives, remember, Susan. 
If a man is married he must come without his 
wife, and the same for the women. We must 
all be imattached, for domesticity, as I have 
often told you, is the foe of friendship." 

With this guidance, and after long consider- 
ation, a list was prepared. Lord Appin, the 
Duchess's brother, was the first to be selected. 
Once the leader of the Conservatives, he had 
found the trammels of politics too hard to 
be borne, and had given up to mankind what 
the virtuous declared was due to his party. In 
German metaphysics, French fiuTiiture, and the 
Turf he found his nominal interests; but his 
friends, of whom Carey was the most intimate, 
were well aware that beneath his insouciance 
he cherished political dreams which, though 
unacceptable to the hustings, were none the less 
broad -based on prescience and understanding. 
Lord Launceston, Hugh's former chief, came 


next ; and Mr Eric Lowenstein, a Jewish 
financier, who had been Carey's partner in 
many schemes. Mr Ebenezer Wakefield, that 
eminent Colonial publicist, was added by Carey ; 
and Hugh stipulated for Lewis Astbury, a young 
journalist who had won fame first as a war 
correspondent and then as a military critic. 
With Sir Edward Considine, the traveller, and 
Colonel Alastair Graham, of the Intelligence 
Department, the masculine side of the party 
was complete. The women were more difficult, 
and the Duchess spent many anxious hours. It 
was easy enough, she said, to get men without 
their wives, but it looked so odd for women to 
go travelling without their husbands; and 
Hugh's suggestion of a party of girls was 
refiised on the ground of the appalling duties 
of chaperonage. In the end Lady Lucy 
Gardner, the wife of a Colonial governor, and 
Mrs Wilbraham and Lady Warcliff, whose 
respective husbands were on duty in Africa 
and India, were selected as the nucleu& Hugh 
begged for Mrs Yorke, the American wife 
of an English statesman, the Duchess insisted 
on Mrs Deloraine, and Carey added Lady 
Amysfort, the Egeria of her party, who, like 
her votaries, was out of power since the elec- 
tions. "I will bring two charming girls," the 


Duchess said, " Marjory Haystoun and my 
niece Flora — it will do them all the good in 
the world. And Marjory is as serious as you, 
Francis, and nearly as clever. There 1 I think 
oiu: list is complete. We have the sexes in 
equal numbers, which is more than you will find 
in any English countiy-house." 

These details being settled, it only remained 
to arrange for the voyage. Following a rule 
of his own invention, Carey always decreed 
that his guests should come within the pale 
of his hospitality at Southampton or Marseilles, 
or wherever the real journey could be said to 
begin. Their route was as rigidly mapped out 
as a Cook's Tour, for he felt that it was desir- 
able to avoid that premature boredom which 
may fall on ill-assorted fellow-travellers. It 
was arranged that the Duchess should travel 
with one of the girls and Lord Launceston. 
The other girl should go with Lord Appin, 
Lady Lucy, and Mr Astbury. Lady Amysfort 
and Mrs Wilbraham should accompany Mr 
Lowenstein, while Hugh was given the escort 
of Mrs Yorke and Lady Warcliff. Considine 
and Graham, it appeared, were at that moment 
hunting near Lake Rudolf, and would be sum- 
moned by messenger so as to arrive with the 
rest of the party. The various detachments 



should start at dt&rant 4iines, one lingering 
for a few days at Cairo, another at Mombasa, 
but all should meet at Musuru in time for 
dinner on the Twelfth of August. 

"Last Twelfth," said the Duchess medita- 
tively, " I was entertaining for Bob at Glenum- 
quhill. Fourteen men and not a woman besides 
myself And this year I am to try to keep the 
peace among seventeen maniacs, eight of them 
female, on a mountain in the Tropics. After 
this who shall say that I have not the courage 
to make any sacrifice for the cause 1 '' 



The present writer is ill-equipped for the task 
of describing great houses, but Musuru demands 
that he should dedicate his slender talents to 
the attempt. From a wayside station on the 
railway between Mombasa and Port Florence a 
well-made highway runs north along the edge 
of the plateau through forests of giant cypress 
and juniper. To the east lies the great Bifb 
valley, with the silver of its lakes gleaming 
eerily through the mountain haze. After a 
dozen miles the woodland ceases and the road 
emerges on a land of &r- stretching downs, 
broken up into shallow glens where streams of 
clear water ripple through coverts of bracken 
and liliea Native villages with bee-hive huts 
appear, and the smoke from their wood fires 
scents the thin upland air. Now the road 
turns west, and the indefinable something 
creeps into the atmosphere which tells the 
traveller that he is approaching the rim of the 


world. Suddenly he comes upon a gate, with 
a thatched lodge, which might be in Scotland. 
Entering, he finds himself in a park dotted 
with shapely copses and full of the same end- 
less singing streams. Orchards, vineyards, olive- 
groves, and tobacco-fields appear, and then the 
drive sweeps into a garden, with a lake in the 
centre and a blaze of flower-beds. The air 
blows free to westward, and he knows that he 
is almost on the edge, when another turn re- 
veals the house against the sky-line. It is 
long and low, something in the Cape Dutch 
style, with wide verandahs and cool stone 
pillars. The sun-shutters and the beams are of 
cedar, the roof is of warm red tiles, and the 
walls are washed with a delicate pure white, 
standing, a^ I have seen it. against a flaming 
sunset, with the glow of lamplight firom the 
windows, it is as true a fairy palace as ever 
haunted a poet's dream. Beyond it the hill 
falls steeply to the Tropics, and the gardens 
run down into the rich glens. Its height is 
some nine thousand feet above the sea, and its 
climate is always temperate ; but three thousand 
feet beneath it is Equatoria, and on clear days 
a gleam can be caught of the great lakes. So 
the gardens, which begin with English flowers, 
fall in tiers through a dozen climates, till azalea 


gives place to hibiscus, and hibiscus to poin- 
settia, and below in the moist valley you end 
with orchids and palms. 

Entering the house through the heavy brass- 
studded doors, you come first into a great 
panelled hall, floored with a mosaic of marble 
on which lie many skins and karosses, and lit 
by a huge silver chandelier. In a comer is a 
stone fireplace like a cavern, where day and 
night in winter burns a great fire of logs. 
Bound it are a number of low chairs and little 
tables, but otherwise the place is empty of 
furniture, save for the forest of horns and the 
grinning heads of lion and leopard on the walls. 
The second hall is more of a summer chamber, 
for it is panelled in lighter wood and hung with 
many old prints and pictures concerned with the 
great age of Afirican adventure. There you will 
find quaint Dutch and Portuguese charts, and 
altar-pieces gifted by a de Silveira or a de Barros 
to some Mozambique chiu*ch long since in ruins. 
Brass -bound sea-chests, tall copper vases of 
Arab workmanship, rare porcelain of the Indies, 
and rich lacquer cabinets line the walls, and 
the carpet is an exquisite old Persian fabric. 
Beyond, through the folding windows, lie the 
verandahs, whence one looks over a sea of mist 
to the trough of the lakes. To the right 


stretch more panelled chambers — dining-room, 
smoking-rooms, a library of many thousand 
volumes, and as fine a private museum as you 
will find in the world. To the left are the 
drawing-rooms, hung with flowered silks and 
curious Eastern brocades, opening on a cool 
verandah, and lit in the evening by the same 
wild fires of sunset. Upstairs the bedrooms 
are masterpieces of arrangement, all fresh and 
spacious, and yet all unmistakably of Africa 
and the Tropics. From any window there is a 
vision of a landscape which has the strange 
glamour of a dream. The place is embosomed 
in flowers, whether growing in braas- hooped 
mahogany tubs or cut and placed daily in the 
many silver bowls ; but no heavy odours ever 
impair the virginal freshness of the house. 
Luxury has been carried to that extreme of 
art where it becomes a delicate simplicity. It 
is a place to work, to talk, to think, but not 
to idle in — a strenuous and stimulating habita- 
tion. For on every side seems to stretch an 
unknown world, calling upon the adventurous 
mind to take possession. 

Hugh dressed early, and, finding the hall 
empty, penetrated into the Green drawing- 
room, where he came upon Lady Flora Brune 


examining critically some Zanzibari ivories. 
They had met many times in London, and 
were on a footing of easy friendship. 

"Well, Mr Somerville, I must ask the usual 
question. Had you a pleasant journey ? " 

" Fair," said Hugh, warming his hands at the 
fire. " We found Cairo a little too hot — at least 
Mrs Yorke and Lady Warcliff did, for I am a 
salamander. Tou were luckier, and stopped at 

"Yes, and Aimt Susan behaved so badly. 
Poor Lord Launceston wanted to stay at home 
and write, and she dragged him about the 
whole Kiviera, trying to find a house for next 
winter. He took it like an angel, but I am 
sure he thought a good deal. He provided me 
with a lot of books to read on the voyage, and 
I have muddled my brains so terribly that I 
haven't a clear idea left. I shall disgrace my- 
self in this party, for it is to be very serious, 
isn't it ? " 

"Very serious. Lady Flora. But you and I 
are young, and the loss of our contributions 
won't matter. I am very stupid, too, since the 

"You were beaten, weren't you?" said the 
girl, with wide sympathetic eyes. 

" Handsomely. Fom* thousand of a minority 


instead of Seymour's majority of fifteen hundred. 
I hadn't a chance from the start. My work 
with Launceston was flung in my face, they 
shouted 'Indian labour' when I tried to speak 
about anything, and Nonconformist nunieters 
went about the place in motor-cars telling the 
people that every vote given to me was a vote 
given against the Lord. They even accused me 
of being a Jew," said Hugh, stroking a very un- 
Jewish nose. " Besides, I was that strange wild- 
fowl, a Tory fi:ee-trader, and another Unionist 
was run against me, who claimed the credit of 
such little Imperialism as was going. But on 
the whole I enjoyed the sport. I never once 
lost my temper, and I got a tremendous ovation 
after the poll. The men who had voted against 
me carried me shoulder-high to my hotel, and 
they all but killed the successful candidate. 
Englishmen at heart love a failure ! " 

"Are there any other victims here?" Lady 
Flora asked. 

"Astbury lost by ten in a place which was 
considered hopeless, so he did well. Also Con- 
sidine was turned out, but as he never went 
near the place, and left his wife to do his 
electioneering, perhaps we need not wonder. 
But all that is dead and buried. I hear people 
talking. Let's go and find the others." 


The rest of the party had gathered in the 
inner hall. The young men — Hugh, Astbury, 
Considine, and Graham — wore ordinary smart 
London clothes. Carey, as was his custom, 
had a soft silk shirt and a low collar, above 
which his magnificent throat and head rose 
like a bust of some Boman emperor. Mr 
Wakefield had arrayed himself in that garb 
which seems inseparable from Colonial states- 
men — a short dinner-jacket and a black tie. 
The tall figure of Lord Launceston stood by 
the fire, deep in conversation with Lord Appin, 
whose robust form and silver head contrasted 
strangely with the bent figure and worn, old- 
young face of his companion. Mr Lowenstein, 
a very small man, with untidy hair and bright 
eager eyes, wandered restlessly between Mrs 
Wilbraham, who was absorbed in the contem- 
plation of Lord Launceston, and the Duchess, 
who was considering a plan of the dinner-table. 

It was the rule at Musuru to disregard the 
claims of precedence. Hugh was sent in with 
Mrs Torke, and found on his other side Lady 
Lucy. An English butler was the one concession 
to the familiar, for the meal was served by Masai 
boys, far defter and more noiseless than any foot- 
man, dressed in tunics of white linen with a thin 
border of blue. Hugh had scarcely time to look 



round the great half-lit room and admire the 
exquisite harmony of silver lamps and crimson 
roses, when he found his attention claimed by 
his right-hand neighbour. 

"Please tell me who the people are and all 
about them/' she begged in her pretty exotic 
voice. "I know you and Margaret Warcliff 
and the Duchess and Lord Appin and Mr 
Carey. That is Lord Launceston, isn't it, over 
there? I do think his deep eyes and haggard 
face just the most wonderful thing in life. How 
happy Charlotte Wilbraham looks talking to 
him! I know they are devoted friends. Who 
is sitting by his other side ? " 

" Mrs Deloraine. Don't you know her ? She 
has many claims to be considered the most beau- 
tiful woman in England, but she is rarely seen 
in London. She lives in a wonderful old house 
in Shropshire, and writes what many people 
think the only good religious poetry of our 
day. What a contrast her Madonna face is 
to Lady Amysfort's ! " Hugh looked across 
the table to where that great lady, with her 
small bead and bright eyes, like some handsome 
bird of prey, was entertaining Lord Appin. 

"Of course that is Lady Amysfort. I have 
seen her often, but you know one never can 
recall her face— only a vague impression of some- 


thing delightfiiL I suppose that is the secret of 
her power, for no woman remembers to be jealous 
of her. Now tell me the others. Who is the 
pretty fair-haired girl sitting next Lord Appin ? " 

"Lady Flora Brune, the Duchess's niece. 
And then comes Sir Edward Considine, the 
man who has gone from the Cape to Cairo^ 
and from Senegal to Somaliland, and has killed 
more lions than I have partridges. He and 
Graham have just come off a hunting - trip, 
and that explains why they are so gorgeously 
browned. That is Graham on your right, sitting 
next Lady Warcliff — the little man with blue 
eyes and a fair moustache. He went to Klon- 
dyke before it was fashionable, and has been in 
half-a-dozen wars, and is a Lieutenant-Colonel, 
though he is only thirty-five. He is the main- 
stay of that precarious institution, oiu* Intelli- 
gence Department." 

"Speak low," said Mrs Yorke, "and tell me 
who the people are on our side. Who is the big 
man next me ? He looks like a lawyer." 

"I expect you have heard his name in the 
States. He is Wakefield, the man who was 
Premier of Canada, and now devotes his life 
to preaching imperial unity. He is a scholar 
as well as a publicist, which is rare enough in 
these days. Do you know his neighbour?" 


"The pretty dark child with the earnest 
eyes? No. Yes, — isn't she Laura Haystoun's 

"Quite right. And now," said Hugh in a 
whisper, "you know everybody, except the 
people on my left. The first is Lady Lucy 
Gardner. Extraordinarily handsome, I think, 
though she is no longer young, and has been 
through all the worst climates in the world. Her 
husband is the Governor of East Africa, and is 
now taking his leave salmon -fishing in Norway, 
while his wife lends official coimtenance to this 
gathering. On the whole she is the bravest 
woman I know, and one of the cleverest. The 
man between her and the Duchess is Mr Lowen- 
stein, whose name you must have seen in the 
papers. He is the whipping-boy of our op- 
ponents — why, I cannot guess, for a more modest, 
gentle soul T never met. You may have heard 
his story. He made a great fortune when quite 
young, and married a very beautifiil girl, the 
daughter of a Scotch peer. People said she sold 
herself for his wealth, for he is, as you may 
observe, a Jew, and not very good to look upon. 
I believe, however, that it was a real love match, 
and certainly they made a devoted couple. Then 
she died suddenly, two years ago, and he got rid 
of all his houses and pictures, and tried to bury 


himself abroad. Carey saw his chance, hunted 
him out, and managed to put a new interest in 
life into him. Now, as you know, he is hand and 
glove with him in aU his schemes. He is said to 
be one of the first financial geniuses alive, but be 
has no courage or nerve, and these Carey supplies 
in the partnership." 

** I like his face," said Mrs Yorke thoughtfiiUy ; 
" there is a fire somewhere behind his eyes. But 
then I diflfer from most of my countrymen in 
liking Jews. You can do something with them — 
stir them up to follow some mad ideal, and they 
are never vulgar at heart. If we must have 
magnates, I would rather Jews had the money. 
It doesn't degrade them, and they have the in- 
fallible good taste of the East at the back of their 
heads. No Northerner should be rich, unless he 
happens to be also a geniu&" 

^'Grenius, I suppose, means some consuming 
passion which bums up the vulgarity. We are 
talking about wealth, Lady Lucy," Hugh said, 
turning to his other neighbour. "Mrs Yorke 
will only permit it in the case of the elect. 
Otherwise it offends her sense of fitness." 

The lady cast a glance over the room. ** This 
house, for instance. It is so flawless and there- 
fore so refireshing. And yet, when I think how 
much it must cost to have such a palace in the 


waderness, I grow giddy. I am not sure if we 
have any right to be so comfortable." 

Lord Appin caught the last words, and leaned 
over the table. *' Surely that is an exploded 
hereey," he said, in the rich and exquisite voice 
which had made him par excellence the Public 
Orator of England. " I thought we had long ago 
given up the idea that austerity of mind depended 
upon discomfort of body. The Simple Life is the 
last refuge of complicated and restless souls. 
For myself I know no such stimulus to action 
as a good dinner, and to thought as a beautiful 

" I am not certain," said Hugh. " It may be 
some tincture of Calvinism in my blood, but I 
confess I never feel quite happy unless I am a 
little miserable. When I am doing work I detest 
there is a glow of satisfaction about me which 
I miss when I am swimming along in some- 
thing which is quite congenial. You remember 
Bagehot's accoimt of Lord Althorp, who gave up 
hunting after his wife's death, not because he 
thought it wrong, but because he felt he had 
no business to be so happy as hunting made him. 
I am sure that we are happiest when doing some- 
thing difficult and unpleasant. The cup wants a 
dash of bitters to make it palatable, for if taken 
neat it is sickly." 


" How true that is,** sighed Mrs Yorke. " Hap- 
piness lies only in a divine unrest ; and if you are 
lapped in comfort you stagnate and miss it." 

" That is the worst piece of fallacious Stoicism 
I have ever heard," Lord Appin said firmly. " It 
means nothing but a low vitality. If you are so 
morbid as to be dominated by your surroundings, 
then what you say is true enough. But to the 
philosophic soul environment matters nothing. 
He is happy alike in camp, court, and cottage. 
He will even preserve a modest gaiety in the 
House of Lords." 

"That is not my nature," said Lady Amysfort 
with conviction. "You may be right — as a 
counsel of perfection. But which of us attains to 
that austere height ? " 

" I frankly confess I don't," Lord Appin replied. 
" I have just been saying how much I owe to a 
good dinner and a pretty room. But some of us 
do. Carey does, I think — and of Launceston I 
am certain. What is your view, Teddy?" 

Sir Edward Considine had been explaining to 
the appreciative Lady Flora the plan of his recent 
shooting- trip ; but both had been drawn by Lord 
Appin's proximity to listen to him. His soft 
voice when he spoke was a strange contrast to 
his hard, weather-worn face. 

"It is all a question of that romance which 


most of US spend our lives looking for. Luxury 
is nothing in itself, but in its proper setting it 
can be an inspiration. A week ago I was perfectly 
happy. Graham and I were living in the most 
beastly discomfort, but then we were on the 
move and we had the excitement of sport, and 
we never thought about it. To-night, also, I 
am perfectly happy ; but if all this had been in 
London, and I had been having months of it, I 
should probably have been miserable. You may 
imagine what it is to jog on all day through the 
hot bush with the dust of weeks on you, and 
your clothes in rags, and no food but tinned 
stuff. And then suddenly this afternoon we 
came to the gates of this place, and paid off our 
caravan-boys, from a hundred miles north — and 
in five minutes exchanged barbarism for civilisa- 
tion. I wallowed in a bath, and my man was 
waiting with clean English things, and here I 
am, like the prodigal son after the husks, clothed 
and in my right mind. I call that romance, and 
there is no keener pleasure. But you must 
have the contrast." 

Lady Flora nodded approval, recalling appar- 
ently kindred experiences in her short life. But 
the discussion was put an end to by Carey's voice 
from the head of the table. He began a little 
nervously, as if he were proposing a toast and 


had doubts how it would be honoured. For so 
massive a figure his voice was singularly high- 
pitched and small, so that he was the predestined 
victim of mimics. But there was a force behind 
it which arrested the ear. 

*'I think/' he began, "that this is the time 
when I ought to say something about why we 
are all here. You don't need to be told that 
yoiu* company is in itself a sufficient delight to me. 
But this is not meant to be an ordinary party. 
Things have moved very fast lately in politics, 
and most of us have got our eyes a little dazzled. 
We want time to collect our wits, and think 
things out, — not only politics, but our whole 
scheme of Ufe, our ambitions, the things which 
at the bottom of our hearts we care most for. 
We are all agreed, more or less, and we represent 
different sides of experience, so that we can 
supplement one another's deficiencies. For the 
moment the fates are against us, and I thought 
that, like the Apostle Paul, we should come out 
into the wilderness and reflect a little. We are 
only spectators at present, and it is an excellent 
chance to get our minds clear about what we 
want while we are looking on at the comedy 
which others are going to play for us." 

Carey paused to sip his wine, and Mr Wake- 
field, who had a talent for trite quotation, 


declaimed with gusto the well-known lines of 
Lucretius : — 

" Suave, marl magno turbantibus aequora ventis, 
E terra magnum alterius spectare laborem ; 
Non quia vexari quemquamst jucunda voluptas, 
Sed quibus ipse malis careas quia cernere suave est. 
Suave etiam belli certamina magna tueri 
Per campos instructa tua sine parte pericli" ^ 

" Translate, please," Mrs Yorke whispered to 

** It means that it is great fun to have a good 
seat in the stalls and watch other people making 
idiots of themselves on the stage." 

"We have seen many strange things in the 
last months," Carey went on. "Our creed has 
been dragged in the mire, and by those who 
professed to reverence it. Every decaying in- 
terest which wanted help has been told that in 
it could be found its peculiar salvation. Every 
vulgar feeling in the whole treasury of our 
national vulgarity has been enlisted in its sup- 
port. Small wonder that England is a little sick 
of the very name of Empire. The result, of 

1 De Rerum Natura, il. 1-6. " Pleasant it is, when the winds 
are tossing the waters of the migbtj sea, to behold from the land 
another's mighty toil — not that there is sweet delight in another's 
affliction, but that it is pleasant to see griefs frt>m which thou 
thyself art free. Pleasant also is it to witness the great conflicts of 
war joined through the plains, thyself with no share in the peril.'' 


course, is a return to tradition. The lack-lustre 
creeds of fifty years ago have acquired a kind of 
splendour in contrast with the dulness of our 
faith. The old armoury has been ransacked, and 
the rusty flintlocks have all been burnished up. 
They make an imposing show on parade, and 
people have not yet begun to think what will 
happen in the day of battle. For the moment 
England is insular again, and the past three 
centuries have been forgotten." 

Lord Appin was in the throes of a quotation. 
" * Little England, which was our reproach, has 
become our glory,' " he interrupted, — " * the little 
England of Shakespeare and Milton and Cromwell 
has conquered the Greater Britain of Baron Stein- 
berg and Mr Bernstein.' The words, I need 
scarcely say, are not my own, but those of a 
bright young Liberal journalist, whose contribu- 
tions to the daily press afford me much innocent 

" So be it," said Carey cheerfully. " The phase 
will pass, that we well know. As a philosopher 
you realise that, to use your barbarous jargon. 
Being can only develop through non- Being and 
the Infinite through the negations of the Finite. 
We have a living creative faith, and we are not 
disheartened because the people for the moment 
blaspheme their deities. But, as I have said, it 


is the occasion to examine ourselves and find the 
reason of that faith which is in ua" 

" We need a definition," said Hugh, who had 
been studying attentively the sphinx-like face of 
his host. ** I call myself an Imperialist, and so 
does the noisy fellow at the street corner ; but if 
I am pressed to explain I can give no summary 
statement of my creed." 

''Is not the reason because it is not a creed 
but a faith ? " Lady Lucy's clear voice had a 
peculiar power of compelling attention. " You 
cannot carve an epic on a nutshell or expound 
Christianity in an aphorism. If I could define 
Imperialism satisfactorily in a senteuce I should 
be very suspicious of its truth." 

" No," said Carey, " we don't want a definition. 
By its fruits ye shall know it. It is a spirit, an 
attitude of mind, an unconquerable hope. Tou 
can phrase it in a thousand ways without ex- 
hausting its content. It is a sense of the destiny 
of England. It is the wider patriotism which 
conceives our people as a race and not as a 
chance community. But we might take opinions. 
Let us each give his or her own description, 
beginning with Mrs Deloraine." 

The lady looked a little confused. " I call it 
an enlarged sense of the beauty and mystery of 
the world." 


" How true ! " said Mrs Yorke. " May I have 
that for my definition too, Mr Carey ? " There 
seemed a general agreement on this among the 

Lord Launceston smiled a little sadly. "I 
don't yet see my way to any summary. It is a 
spirit moving upon the waters, a dumb faith in 
the hearts of many simple men up and down the 
world, who are building better than they know — 

' Not till the hours of light return, 
All we have built do we discern.' " 

Lord Appin, who was eating grape-fruit, 
looked up quizzically. " I call it, in the language 
of my hobby, the realisation of the need of a 
quantitative basis for all qualitative develop- 
ment. It is a hard saying, which I shall ex- 
pound later." 

" For Heaven's sake let us keep out of mystic- 
ism," broke in Mr Wakefield, who detested Lord 
Appin's metaphysics. ''I define Imperialism as 
the closer organic connection under one Crown of 
a number of autonomous nations of the same 
blood, who can spare something of their vitality 
for the administration of vast tracts inhabited by 
lower races, — a racial aristocracy considered in 
their relation to the subject peoples, a democracy 
in their relation to each other." 


Mr Astbury nodded. " I take Mr Wakefield's 
definition for mine." 

" And I," said Considine, " call it romance. I 
have no head for political theories, but I have an 
eye for a fact. It is the impulse to deeds rather 
than talk, the ardour of a race which is renewing 
its youth. It is what made the Elizabethans, 
and all ages of adventure." 

" For my part," said Lady Amysfort, " I think 
it simply Toryism under a new name— the Tory- 
ism of our great men, Bolingbroke, Pitt, Canning, 
Disraeli. Toryism was never Conservatism, re- 
member. It was a positive creed, both destruc- 
tive and constructive. Liberalism is a doctrine 
of abstractions, right or wrong, which bear no 
true relation to national life. Toryism has al- 
ways held by the instincts and traditions of the 
people, and when our island became an empire it 
became naturally Imperialism." 

" As a Liberal Imperialist, Caroline," said the 
Duchess with some asperity, "I profoundly dis- 
agree. I wish George were here to say what I 
think of your history." 

Mr Lowenstein's restless eyes had been wan- 
dering from one speaker to the other, and he had 
several times opened his mouth as if to say some- 
thing. Now he was about to begin when Miss 
Haystoun forestalled him. 


" I should like to define it in very old words," 
she said shyly, in her low intense voice. " It is 
the spirit which giveth life as against the letter 
which killeth. It means a renunciation of old 
forms and conventions, and the clear-eyed facing 
of a new world in the knowledge that when the 
half-gods go the true gods must come." 

"That is beautifully said," murmured Mr 

"Indeed, Marjory, I think it is almost blas- 
phemous." The Duchess, who had been fretting 
for some time under the turn the conversation 
had taken, had at last succeeded in catching 
Lady Amysfort's eye, and the ladies rose to 
leave. Immediately the men reasserted them- 
selves according to their preference. Astbury 
took his port round to the vacant chair next 
Mr Wakefield; Carey, Lord Appin, and Lord 
Launceston formed a coterie by themselves; 
Graham and Considine revelled silently in the 
novel luxury of good cigars, and Hugh joined 
Lowenstein, by whom he was cross-examined 
concerning the names of his feUow-guesta. 

It was not Carey's habit to linger at table, and 

the sound of a beautiful voice singing a song of 

Schubert drew the men soon to the inner hall, 

where Mrs Deloraine sat at the piano. At each 

« end of the apartment log-fires burned brightly ; 


outside the white verandah gleamed chill in the 
frosty moonlight ; and the place was lit only by 
the hearths and two tall silver lamps beside the 
piano. A soft aromatic scent — the mingling of 
flowers and wood-smoke — filled the air. 

Lord Appin took his place beside Mrs Delor- 
aine. Carey stood in the centre of a great fire- 
place, and the others resorted to chairs and 
couches. Hugh, finding a very soft rug, settled 
himself at Lady Flora's feet. 

The lady at the piano finished " Der Wan- 
derer" and began the song from La Princesse 
Ldntaine. It was a melody of her own making, 
very wild and tender, and in the dim light her 
wonderful voice held the listeners like a spell. 

^' Car c'est chose supreme 
D'aimer sans qu'on vous aime, 
D'aimer toigoorsi quand mdme, 

Sans cesse, 
D'une amour incertaine, 
Plus noble d'etre vaine, 
Et j'aime la lointaine 

Princesse ! " 

When she ceased there was silence for a little. 
The place and time were so strange — there 
among delicate furniture and all the trappings 
of a high civilisation, looking out over the 
primeval wilds. Savage beasts roamed a mile 
off in that untamed heart of the continent. The 


most sophisticated members of the company felt 
the glamour of the unknown around them. Lord 
Launceston rose quietly and walked to the win- 
dow, where he gazed abstractedly at the starry 
sky ; Lady Lucy was looking into the red glow 
of the fire ; Marjory Haystoun and Lady Flora 
sat, chin on hand, in a kind of dream. Only 
Graham and Considine were unconscious of the 
spell. Months of hunting and going to bed at 
sundown had spoiled them for civilised hours, 
and they had dropped off peacefully to sleep 
in their chairs. 

Carey broke the silence. "Here we are in 
Prester John's country, '* he said. "He may 
have had a daughter called Melissinde, and 
she may have been the Far-away Princess to 
some Portuguese adventurer who left his ship 
at Mombasa and wandered up into the hills. 
Do you realise how strange it is to be sitting 
here? Thirty years ago this was bush, with 
lions roaring in it, and the pioneers who may 
have camped here were three hundred miles 
from a white man, with hostile tribes around 
them, and the Lord knows what in front. I 
remember when I first came it was from the west. 
I had been trekking for months in Uganda, right 
across from Albert Edward and the Semliki to 
what is now Port Florence. I had had a bad 



dose of fever, and when we crawled up into the 
foothills I was as weak as a cat. We stayed 
here for a bit to recruit our strength, and, when 
I coTild stand, I went one evening, just about 
sunset, and looked down into the Tropics. That 
hour is as clear to me as if it had been yesterday. 
There was a fresh, clean wind blowing, which put 
life into my bones, and I stood on the edge and 
looked down thousands of feet over the little 
hill-tops to the great forest and on to the horizon, 
which was all red and gold. I knew that there 
was fever and heat and misery down below, but 
in the twilight it was transfigured, and seemed 
only a kind of fairyland designed for happiness. 
I was a poor man then, poor and ambitious, 
hungering for something, I did not know what. 
It was not wealth, for I never wanted wealth 
for its own sake. It was a purpose in life I 
sought, and in that moment I found it. For 
I realised that the great thing in the world is 
to reach the proper vantage-ground. I learned 
that things are not what they seem to the fighter 
in the midst of them ; that the truth can only be 
known to the man on the hill-top. I realised 
that the heavenly landscape below me was far 
more the real Africa than the place of dust and 
fever I had left. And in that hour I saw my 
work, and, I think, too, the ideal of our race. If 



we cannot create a new heaven, we can create a 
new earth. *The wilderness and the solitary 
place shall be glad for ns ; the desert shall rejoice 
and blossom as the rose.' " 

The Duchess got up. " Marjory," she said, 
''you are nodding, and as for Alastair and Sir 
Edward, they have been asleep for the last half- 
hour. I think we are all ready for bed after our 
long journey." 

As Hugh lit her candle at the foot of the stair- 
case, she whispered to him confidentially, " When 
Francis begins to talk in blank verse, I always 
feel a little nervous. I think it is quite time for 
the women to say good-night." 



Morning at Musuru came as a surprise to those 
who remembered the hot noontide of the previous 
day. For the air was as bitter as an English 
wiiter, .od, looking from the windows, fhey 
saw the valleys filled with cold mist and the 
lawns whitened with hoar - frost. The result 
was that all the women breakfasted in their 
rooms. And of the men, only Hugh, Astbury, 
and Mr Wakefield appeared in the dining-room, 
where a roaring wood-fire gave the early risers 
a sense of comfort to temper their consciousness 
of virtue. That consciousness, however, was 
rudely disturbed by the discovery that Graham 
and Considine had breakfasted at least two 
hours before and had gone out heroically into 
the chilly morning. 

Mr Wakefield stood warming his back at the 
fire, in the attitude of a Master of Hounds before 
a hunt breakfast. He had arrayed himself in 
Harris tweeds, and his legs were clothed with 


new buckskin gaiters. Hugh and Astbiuy, who 
knew something of the Musuru climate, had put 
on thinner shooting suits. 

The elder man helped himself to mealie-meal 
porridge and cream. "We had an interesting 
Sk L night, and I hope during our visit 
we may reach some valuable conclusions. But 
I foresee trouble ahead unless we can keep Lord 
Appin away from Hegel and put a stop to 
Carey^s infernal mysticism. In my opinion, 
also, there are too many women for a really 
helpful discussion. We must, above aU things, 
be practical. Now, I have here a kind of 
syllabus which Carey gave me last night — a 
list of the subjects we are to consider, and the 
order we are to take them in. To-night we 
are to begin with contemporary English politics 
and the present position of parties. Well, at 
any rate, that is relevant, if dull. Then we go 
on to the constitutional apparatus of Empire, the 
question of our tropical possessions, the economic 
and administrative problems. All these are very 
much to the point. But I notice at the end 
the sinister announcement that the concluding 
days are to be spent in talking about the ethical 
basis of Empire, and its relation to intellectual 
and aesthetic progress. That means, I fear, 
more of the unpromising mysticism of which we 


had a taste last night. We must keep Imperi- 
alism out of the cloudsi or how on earth is it to 
commend itself to business men ? I speak £rom 
a wide knowledge of the Colonies, and I assure 
you that what they want is a business proposi- 
tion. We have, of course, our own ideals, but 
they are framed in a different language from 
yours, and I need hardly tell you that a common 
ideal, held with a difference, has proved in the 
past the most potent of disruptive forces. Let 
every man add his own poetry to the facts, but 
for Heaven's sake let us get the facts agreed 
upon first." 

Mr Wakefield's eloquence was checked by his 
appetite, and by Hugh's warning that the word 
" Empire " was tabooed in the daytime. " Carey 
and I agreed," said he, " that we should degener- 
ate into a debating society and get bored to 
death with each other unless we placed strict 
limits to our enthusiasm. So our discussions 
will not begin till dinner-time. Before that we 
are at liberty to think as much as we please, 
but we must not talk about it. The resources 
of this place are limitless. We can shoot and 
fish and ride and walk ; there is an excellent 
library ; the finest scenery in the world is at our 
doo^;*. In the daytime we axe Jldneurs, without 
a thought except how to amuse ourselves. In 


the evening we can devote ourselves to your 
* business proposition/ " 

Mr Wakefield acquiesced a little reluctantly, 
and, having finished breakfast, ensconced himself 
in the library with a box of cigars and a French 
novel. Astbury went off to do some writing, 
and Hugh devoted an hour to his neglected cor- 
respondence. Meanwhile the mist was clearing, 
the sun had come out and burned up the rime, 
and, as he looked from the window, he saw a 
pale blue sky, which promised heat, and all the 
mystery of bright colour which a tropical morn- 
ing displays. So, after going to his room for 
a book, he found a long wicker -chair on the 
verandah, and, lighting a pipe, settled himself 
for a peaceful forenoon. 

He found it hard to read, however. The wide 
landscape shimmering below him, the calling of 
strange birds, the wafts of strange scents from 
the garden distracted his thoughts. By-and-by 
a trim white figure in a large sun-hat came 
along, and he said good-morning to Lady Flora. 

The girl refused a chair, and seated herself on 
the parapet of the verandah. 

^^I am all alone, so I must come and talk 
to you, Mr Somerville. Aunt Susan and Lady 
Amysfort and Mrs Yorke are not down yet. 
Charlotte Wilbraham has taken Lord Launceston 


for a walk, Lady Lucy and Mr Lowenstein are 
talking business, Marjory and Mr Astbury are 
talking politics, and Barbara Deloraine is looking 
at a big botany book with pictures, I found 
Colonel Alastair and Sir Edward in the stables 
skinning beasts, and they were so covered with 
blood and the place smelt so horribly that I 
could not stay. Lady Warcliff is writing hun- 
dreds of letters about some of her emigration 
societies. I am sure she fusses far too much 
about her work. She behaves always like a weary 
Atlas holding up a world which doesn't in the 
least want to be held up. Last of all, I found 
Lord Appin deep in a big German book, but he 
told me to be a good girl and run away. So 
you are my only refiige. Tell me what you are 
reading in that little book with so many pencil 
markings in it." 

"Plato," said Hugh. "I am taking advan- 
tage of my idleness to renew my acquaintance 
with the great masters. But it's very hard to 
find the proper book for such a morning." 

" Nearly as hard as to find the proper clothes. 
When my maid called me she said it was 
•freezin' 'ard,' so I put on my thickest tweed 
skirt. When I had finished dressing I saw the 
sun coming out, so I put on a lighter one. And 
when I came downstairs and went out on the 


verandah and saw that it was quite summery, 
I had to go back and change into summer things. 
Two changes in a morning are reaUy enough to 
upset one. I feel as if I had been inconstant." 

Hugh shut his book and began to refill his 
pipe. ** I think I'll talk to you instead of read- 
ing Plato. What would you like to talk about ?" 

" This place, first of all," said the girl. " Did 
you ever see anything to match it? I am so 
glad Aunt Susan brought me. I fancied we 
should be living in a log cabin with Kaffir ser- 
vants, and I seriously thought of leaving my 
maid at home, as I did last year in Norway. 
Instead, I find the most beautiful and comfort- 
able house I ever dreamed of And I like the 
idea of our party so much. We are going to 
talk high politics, and I am sure we have got 
some very clever men to talk them. It is such 
a refreshing change from the ordinary * cure.' 
My first two seasons I went with Mother to 
stupid German places, where one saw the same 
people who had bored one in town and talked 
the same foolish gossip. It is a blessing to be 
in a place where one can talk about better 
things than other people's love affairs." 

Hugh laughed. " You are growing old. Lady 
Flora, if that topic has ceased to amuse you. 
Have you had a hard Season?" 


"Pretty hard, and I suppose I cum, growing 
old, for people are beginning to pall on me. 
Three years ago, when I first came out, I was 
tolerant of everything and anybody. But now 
I seem to have too much of it all. I want a 
little peace to get my mind clear and to know 
what I like and who are my fi'iends. Didn't 
some one say that the art of life was to make 
up your mind what you really and truly wanted ? 
I am afraid I shall soon be that deplorable young 
woman, * her name was Dull.' " 

" You have been reading the * Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress,' and you are afraid that you are one of 
the citizens of Vanity Fair ? " 

" I am horribly afraid. At the bottom of my 
heart I would really live almost anywhere else — 
even with the tiresome old Interpreter or the 
spinsters of the House Beautiful. Where do 
you live, Mr Somerville?" 

Hugh shook his head doubtfully. "Various 
places up and down the Way. A good deal in 
the Valley of Humiliation. Now and then in 
Doubting Castle. But not much, I think, in 
Vanity Fair." 

" No," said the girl, " I don't seem to have 
seen you about so much lately. Have you 
grown tired of the world ? " 

" I have so many things to think about nowa- 



days. As you were saying, the secret of life is 
to find out what one really wants, and I have 
discovered that a little of Society goes a long 
way with me. I only liked it because of the 
romance which it has for us all at first. When 
I grew up properly and the gilt was rubbed off 
I found it hard and stupid : so like a wise man 
I seek my romance elsewhere. You are growing 
up, too, and finding the same thing." 

Lady Flora climbed off her perch and leant 
over the balustrade, looking down into the in- 
finite blue distances. 

"At any rate we are both in the Delectable 
Mountains now,'' she said, ''and we have the 
Shepherds, too, and they may teach us something. 
But I wish we were going to talk about a more 
helpful subject. Of course I believe in Imperial- 
ism, and I canvassed a great deal for cousin 
Charlie at the election. He was beaten, poor 
boy, and he said it was largely my fault, for I 
always agreed with anything anybody said to me. 
And I am much more interested in the Empire 
than in England, for all the nicest people I know 
are in Tibet, or Nigeria, or some remote place. 
But at the same time I can't help feeling that 
any politics are rather a far-away thing to me." 

"And yet I don't see why they should be," 
said Hugh, rising and looking over the balustrade 


beside the girl. "We are all citizens, — I am 
giving you the kind of answer an elderly paternal 
person would give, — and we have long got over 
the old foolish idea that politics were only a 
game for men, and for a few men at that. What 
we are going to talk about is the whole scheme 
of life which a new horizon and a new civic ideal 
bring with them. It affects the graces as closely 
as the business of life, art and literature as well 
as economics and administration. Suppose a small 
tribe lived in a cave and never saw the daylight. 
One day the barriers at the door fall down, and 
they look out on a blue sky and meadows and a 
river, and are free to go out to them. It wouldn't 
be only the modes of tribal government that 
would be altered by the illumination." 

" No, I suppose not. But the whole thing is 
still very unfamiliar to me, and I cannot under- 
stand the language you all talk in. I've never 
been able to follow even Lord Appin's jokes, though 
he's a relation, and Mr Carey speaks like a very 
impressive but very obscure bishop. Perhaps 
Lord Launceston may be simpler. He is so kind 
and wearied and sad, and his face is so like 
a Bume-Jones knight, that some day I shall cer- 
tainly kiss him, if I am not too afraid of Char- 
lotte Wilbraham." 

" You would prefer that we should sit in con- 


clave on the profound subject : How is a young 
lady of twenty or thereabouts, who is a little 
tired of being frivolous, to attain satisfaction in 
life? Upon my soul, I think that is a much 
more difficult question than the other." 

" You are very tiresome, Mr Somerville," said 
the girl. " You think I am only a butterfly. I 
may be, but I can at least look beyond my cab- 
bage-leaf, and I am very very discontented." 

** Why not try good works ? " Hugh asked. 

" ' Journeys end in mothers' meetings ! ' No ! 
I've tried them in an amateur way, and the works 
aren't really good. You make yourself miserable, 
and only fuss and patronise the poor, so nobody 
is a penny the better." 

" Well, then, there is the intellectual life ? " 

" I haven't the brains. It is all very well for 
Marjory, who has read everything, and finds life 
far too short for the things she burns to do. I 
don't live at white-heat like her. More by token," 
said Lady Flora, peering into the garden, " she 
is at this moment discoursing with Mr Astbury 
among the oleanders. Bareheaded too ! I wonder 
if she knows that this is mid-day in the Tropics. 
She'll be cut off in the pride of her youth and 

*' There only remains falling in love and marry- 
ing," said Hugh solemnly. 


" Oh, Mr Somerville, I never expected to hear 
you say anything so banal. As if any short cut 
to happiness lay that way 1 If you can't find 
a philosophy of life before marriage, you won't 
find it after. It is shirking the question, not 
solving it." 

The girl swung round and revealed a laughing 
face and dancing eyes. '' I am a better actress 
than I thought, and you were quite taken in. I 
am really blissfully happy, happier than I think 
I've ever been before. But I want to make the 
most of this place, so I have a scheme to offer. 
Why should we not have a special conference on 
our own account ? The discussions in the even- 
ings will be the voice of age. Let us have the 
voice of youth — ^you and me^in the mornings. 
I shall want to ask so many questions and have 
so many things explained to me. Besides, I 
may contribute really valuable suggestions in 
our tete-drtete^ which I should be much too shy 
to launch at the dinner-table. Shall we make it 
a bargain ? " 

As they shook hands on the compact the gong 
— aforetime the war-drum of a neighbouring tribe 
— sounded for luncheon. 

Conversation at dinner was begun by a speech 
of some length fi:om the Duchess of Maxton. In 


the afternoon she had been driven by Carey in 
an American buggy round a settlement of some 
fifty families from England Enthusiasm was 
not commonly her rdle^ but as a practical woman 
and a practical farmer she had been carried out 
of herself in admiration of the success of his 
experiment. She had tried the same thing on 
her husband's Suffolk estate, where it maintained 
a precarious life, fed by frequent doles from her 
own purse. Her first impression, therefore, had 
been that this was but another of Carey's ex- 
travagant hobbies, and she had been greatly 
astonished to learn that it paid him six per 
cent on his outlay. The vast fields of tobacco 
and maize, the strips of lucerne, the orchards, 
the plain substantial houses, the well-made roads, 
the schoolhouse, the buxom contentment of the 
women, the healthy colour of the children, and 
the hard well-being of the men — she did not 
know what the most to admire. " How do you 
do it ? " she had inquired, and had been told 
simply, " Management." 

" Where did you get the people from ? " she 
asked at dinner. 

" Some from my old home in Devonshire — 
small farmers who could not make a living in 
England, yoimg shepherds who wanted to be on 
their own, and a younger son or two who were 


not above labouring with their hands. But I 
wanted all sorts ; so you will find South Africans 
and New Zealanders and Canadians in the settle- 
ment. I made a point of having none but men 
who had got the love of the soil in them. I don't 
think of the place as an emigration experiment. 
I wanted my estate farmed to the best purposes, 
and I hunted about for the best tenants. It is 
true that in time aU will own their own farms, 
but even as freeholders they will still be in a real 
sense my own people." 

" The danger I foresee in all such work," said 
Mr Wakefield, who found Lady Flora and Lady 
Amysfort, his two neighbours, a little inattentive 
to his conversation, — ** the danger is that too much 
depends upon the will of a single man. One man 
like you, Carey, is a godsend ; a hundred would 
be a calamity. For, when all is said and done, 
you are feudalists and aristocrats at heart. Now 
I maintain that the basis of empire is a demo- 
cratic one — that is to say, empire as understood 
in the fi:ee Colonies, which are its real support. 
Africa, if I may say so, has been too much 
monopolised by *men of destiny' — Rhodes, for 
example, and yourself. In Canada, in New 
Zealand, in Australia, you are inconceivable. I 
appreciate your work as much as any man, but 
I feel that it creates a false precedent. It is a 


precedent, I admit, which has small chance of 
being followed," he added, smiling. 

Carey nodded and looked across the table to 
Lord Appin. " Mr Wakefield has brought us to 
the subject which we had arranged to discuss 
to-night. I think you will all agree that it is 
our first business to look at the condition of 
political thought in England, and incidentally 
at the position of political parties. England, 
even Mr Wakefield will admit, is still the im- 
periaJ centre of gravity. Our creed is, of course, 
not identified with any party formula, but we 
Imperialists must work through existing agencies. 
It is most important, therefore, to know what 
materials we have to deal with." 

" May I make a suggestion before we begin ? " 
Mr Wakefield interrupted. " I agree with you, 
Carey, about the importance of the subject. But 
it is one which lends itself most readily to a 
barren speculative treatment. As ours is a prac- 
tical inquiry, I suggest that we keep very close 
to facts and disregard what I believe is called 
the metaphysical basis of politics. I mean that 
in discussing Liberalism we should not ask our- 
selves what Liberalism may imply in its ultimate 
analysis, but merely what it means to the several 
millions who have voted Liberal at the polls. 
Otherwise we shall talk in a language which few 



of US can pretend to understand. We are not all 
philosophers like Lord Appin." 
• Lord Appin mildly dissented. " If I may say 
so, we are all philosophers, even Lady Flora, 
though we don't all of us know it. To be a phil- 
osopher it is not necessary that you should have 
formulated your creed in a system ; it is suflScient 
if it governs your thought and conduct. I could 
label you all with your appropriate badges. I 
myself, for example, with certain private reserv- 
ations, am a follower of Hegel. You, Mr Wake- 
field, I should class without hesitation as a 
disciple of the much - esteemed and lately de- 
ceased Mr Herbert Spencer. Lord Launceston, 
if I recall his Oxford reputation rightly, agrees 
with me. Our host is as fine an instance as I 
know of the Transcendental Idealist, though I 
don't suppose he has ever read a page of Fichte. 
Hugh, I think, is one of those peculiar people 
who go back to Kant and misunderstand that 
great man's meaning. Mrs Deloraine is a 
Platonist, and my sister is in her methods a 
crude Baconian. Even Sir Edward has a creed, 
and worships, with Nietzsche, the Superman. 
Did you ever hear his name, Teddy?" 

"Yes," said that gentleman pensively; "and 
I once read a book of his — something about 
^ Zarathustra ' — which my wife gave me for a 


birthday present. I liked it so much that I 
called a horse of mine after the author — won 
the Oaks in '99, you may remember. There was 
rather a muddle about it, for it was ridden by a 
jockey called Neish, and the sporting papers 
conftised the two, and made him the horse and 
the other fellow the jockey." 

" To return to what I was saying," continued 
Mr Wakefield with some slight asperity of tone, 
" I do earnestly beg of you all to keep on the 
hard highroad of facts. We have enough poli- 
tical metaphysicians in the world, and their 
works are to be found in the leading articles of 
the halfpenny Badical press. Our raison d/Stre 
is that we look more squarely at the realities of 
life. We have ample knowledge in our party 
to reconstruct the policies of the globe. For 
Heaven's sake let us keep off windy general- 

Carey smiled benevolently during the inter- 
ruption. "I am not a practical man. If I 
were, I should still be managing a little mine 
on the Band. But I agree with Mr Wakefield 
up to a point — we must take full account of the 
data we have to work upon. That is why I 
propose that we should begin with the state of 
politics in England to-day. On this I have one 
remark to make, with which I think all will 


agree. The old creeds which still appear in the 
text-hooks are as dead as Julius Caesar.'' 

The Duchess looked uneasy. Bom of high 
Tory stock, she had married the head of a 
great Whig house and had zealously adopted its 
politics. '^I do not admit that Liberalism is 
dead," she said. " On the contrary, it was never 
more alive than to-day. It has won a victory 
imprecedented since the date of the great Reform 

" Nevertheless, Susan, I maintain that it is as 
dead as a door-nail. And to appease you I will 
add that Conservatism — for Lady Amysfort's 
sake I will not say Toryism — is in the same 
position. I propose to ask Lord Appin, who 
still reads the newspapers, to quote to us defin- 
itions of Liberalism, prepared both by friend and 
foe, and then I will ask you if the thing has 
not long been decently buried, though its wraith 
still walks the earth. Lady Amysfort will be 
kind enough to provide us with some account 
of that peculiar faith which she calls Tory- 
ism and proposes to identify with Imperialism. 
When we know what are the avowed creeds 
of the parties, we can fairly consider how much 
or how little of the vital spark is left in them. 
Then we can talk of Imperialism and those new 
doctrines which are its real rivals. Our country 



is hungering and thirsting for a living faith. 
We are all like sick folk by the Pool of Bethesda, 
waiting for the angel to descend and trouble 
the waters." 

" I think, Francis, we might wait for the angel 
in the outer hall," said the voice of the Duchess. 
" It is very cold to-night, and that place is my 
ideal of comfort. Let us all go and have our 
coffee there and talk." 



The great log -fire in the outer hall threw 
strange shadows upon the walls, and made the 
lion heads grin like outlandish ogres. Lamps 
were lit on the small tables, and the company 
settled in deep chairs, within the glow of the 
fire but outside its disquieting warmth. 

Lord Appin, who had seated himself near the 
centre of the circle, produced a little volume in 
which newspaper extracts were pasted. 

" I am, as you know/' he said, " a connoisseur 
of public opinion. In my belief no statesman 
can afford to neglect the ingenuous manifest- 
ations of it which from time to time appear in 
its popular organs. There you will find the will 
of certain classes of the community stated, no 
doubt with imperfect grammar and more im- 
perfect taste, but still with all the frankness and 
confusion of the original. So I subscribe to 
several press-cutting agencies, and my secretary, 
who knows my desires, keeps for me the more 


characteristic extracts. I ought, however, first 
of all to define what I mean by public opinion. 
Properly understood, it is the bed-rock, the card- 
inal fact of all democratic politics such as ours. 
It is the sum total of the instincts, traditions, 
and desires of our race, created not only by 
reasoned beliefs, but by those impalpable forces 
of persuasion which no contemporary can hope 
to diagnose. I am no despiser of the average 
man. What he thinks at the bottom of his 
heart, when he thinks at all, is what is sooner 
or later going to happen. Now creeds are not 
necessarily public opinion. They are the attempts 
to interpret it made by its official interpreters — 
preachers, journalists, and politicians. When I 
quote firom the Press, therefore, I do not profess 
to be quoting public opinion in its real meamng, 
but an interpretation of it which has a vogue 
among a certain section of the interpreting 

" Let me begin with a definition of the creed 
which has just won so conspicuous a victory. 
The bright flamboyant style betrays its source :— 

''A sigh of thankfulness and hope is heard through- 
out the land. England with no uncertain voice has 
turned her face against Toryism, with all its moral 
dSfaiUance, its insincerity, its opportunism, its lack 
of seriousness, its narrow and trifling sophistries, its 
unabashed class interest. The white soul of our 


people turns towards its true sun. Once more the 
large and generous spirit of Liberalism is abroad. 
We are on the threshold of a new era, and behind 
us lies nothing but confusion. Foreign affairs have 
been conducted from hand to mouth without any 
perception of large issues ; domestic affairs have been 
dominated by an obscurantism which, under the in- 
fluence of momentary panic, blossomed forth into 
ill-considered experiments in reaction. The heart of 
the nation needed a solemn purification, and by the 
grace of God that purification has come. Men go 
about in the streets to-day with a new light in their 
eyes — poor men who see at last a hope for their 
starving households, earnest men who have fretted in 
secret at the long reign of apathy, young men who 
have now before them a career of civic usefulness. 
From warder to warder runs the challenge, * Brother, 
is it well with the State ? ' and the answer comes, ' It 
is well ! ' " 

Lord Appin paused. "It is a charnaing pic- 
ture of a national renaissance. But let us look," 
he continued, " at what Liberalism has to give : — 

'' The policy of Liberalism is clear. Men's minds 
have been too long dazzled by the jingo generalities 
of empire. Imperialism battens on the basest attri- 
butes of humanity, the lust of conquest and power, 
the greed of gold, the morbid unsettlement and dis- 
content of a degenerate age. It is for Liberalism to 
bring back the people to the paths of political wis- 
dom, which are also those of peace and pleasantness. 
Purity of character must be insisted upon in our 
public men. The heresies of a decadence must be 
expunged, and we must return to the sober and 


rational orthodoxy of our fathers. The House of 
Commons, the People's House, must be restored to 
its old prestige. The overgrown burden of arma- 
ments must be reduced, and England must appear 
before the world as the herald of a truce between 
nations. The cost of administration must be lessened 
that the private comfort of the citizen may be in- 
creased. Provision must be made for the old and 
feeble of the land; the slums — that eyesore of our 
civilisation — must be opened up to the wholesome 
air and light; the workman must be placed on a 
level with the master in the economic struggle, and 
for that purpose raised above the caprice of juries ; 
in the exploitation of her neglected assets, the State 
must find work for those who are squeezed out of the 
capitalist mill. For each class of the community the 
way must be made plain for that development which 
is its due. Education must be freed from the blight- 
ing influence of clericalism ; the liquor traffic must 
be curbed in the public interest ; capitalism and the 
servitude it entails must be checked with a strong 
and earnest hand. In a word, Liberalism must lift 
again its old banner, on which its great master in- 
scribed its never-to-be-forgotten creed — 'Peace, Ee- 
trenchment, and Reform!'" 

"It is a spirited piece of prose," said Lord 
Appin as he concluded, "though I am afraid it 
is mostly made up of v^rhat logicians call ' iden- 
tical propositions.' Notice, too, the refrain 
throughout, 'Return/ 'our historic creed,' poli- 
tical orthodoxy.' Somehov^ it does not strike me 
as inspiring, but I think it is a not unfair state- 
ment of v^hat a great many of the interpreting 


cl€U3S wish the nation to believe. I propose to 
read as a pendant some remarks of my friend, 
the editor of the * International Review.' With 
him the English language is a spiked mace, and 
perhaps some of the spikes are too long and 
sharp for my liking : — 

"Triumphant Liberalism has promulgated its creed, 
and we trust that the world is edified. For our- 
selves, we can only see pathos in colossal travail with 
a ridictUiis mus as the fruit of it. We have waited 
for a sign, and behold ! we are referred to an ancient, 
vulgar, and half-eflPaced street -poster; we ask for 
some new thing, and we are given the oldest of pot- 
house cries. A contemporary, which claims to be 
the exponent of the new gospel, has given us a long 
and turgid exposition, in a style adorned by imper- 
fectly remembered fragments of the Sermon on the 
Mount and the culture of the Mechanics' Institute. 
And the result ? It is our old friend Gladstonianism 
with a more pronounced Nonconformist accent. The 
prophet of the future, it appears, is that poisonous 
politician — we dare not misuse the word * statesman ' 
— who, with the morbid conscience and purblind 
eyes of the egotist, was ready to sacrifice bis country's 
honour to a fetich begotten of his own vanity. Eng- 
land, it seems, is to put her pride in her pocket and 
go whimpering among the nations as an apostle of 
peace, bleating about the grievous cost of her army 
and navy. The poor are to be elevated by tinkering 
expedients of re -housing and pauperised by doles 
from the Exchequer, while the law will be so 
amended as to give carte-blanche to mob violence. 
Education will once more be flung into the hands of 


clerics, only the frock-coat will take the place of the 
cassock, and the snufiSe of Little Bethel will oust the 
more scholarly tones of the Church. The prestige of 
the Parliamentary '' talking-shop," which all thinking 
men have long ago come to disregard, is to be revived 
and increased. An egregious economy will play 
havoc with our revenue system, and the deficit will 
be made up by the plunder, not of the rich parvenus, 
but of the unfortunate owners of ancestral lands. 
Our Empire, won by the blood and sweat of our 
great progenitors, and maintained by that class which 
alone is worthy of the name of Englishmen — our 
Empire, which gives to generous youth its only hor- 
izon, is to be lightly cast aside to satisfy the whim- 
sies of a few dropsical pedants. Not one constructive 
idea emerges from the chaos of absurdities. Not 
once do the propagandists dare to look at the facts of 
a living world. Let us re-shuffle the cards, they say ; 
let us pull down a little here and add a little there ; 
but for God's sake do not tell us that conditions can 
change, for we know that our great leader has laid 
down once and for all the principles of our English 
policy. Let no man lay a finger upon that Ark of 
the Covenant ! " 

Lord Appin looked up from his book. " There 
is a great deal more, but that is the gist of my 
friend's criticism; and though I deplore its in- 
temperance, I am inclined to agree with it. 
Liberalism, so far as I can judge, is correctly 
described as a shuflEling of the cards. One further 
quotation I cannot resist. My friend goes on to 
show that the Conservative party is equally 


barren of ideas, and he gives far from flattering 
portraits of some of those leaders — he calls them 
* Mandarins ' — who have just gone out of oflSce, 
and in many cases out of Parliament. * Oh for 
one hour/ he exclaims, * of Randolph Churchill ! ' 
Then he turns to myself : — 

** Lord Appin stands in a diSerent position. He is, 
at least, untouched by the administrative incompe- 
tence of his former colleagues. He may choose to 
play the grand seigneur out of office, but once in the 
toils of a department he shows an industry as un- 
wearied and a mind as acute as any statesman who 
has risen by merit alone. But he is cursed with a 
fatal temperamental weakness. He is intolerant of 
mediocrity, impatient of the pedestrian and the dull, 
and his shining gifts of intellect and character are 
available only in emergencies. His metaphysical 
habit of mind interposes a veil between him and the 
will of the people. He will not condescend to join 
in the dusty squabbles amid which the political life 
must be lived. He will do brilliantly in the field if 
he is permitted either to issue orders from a luxur- 
ious tent in the rear or to charge some desperate 
position at the head of the Maison du Roi, ... But 
he will neither fight in the ranks nor in their imme- 
diate vicinity. The result is that he has fallen out 
of the battle-line of public life. He might have 
ruled England as Disraeli ruled her, but he has 
chosen to make elegant speeches and write agreeable 
books. He has, definitely and of set purpose, given 
up to a coterie what was due to the Empire. He 
might have been a second Pitt ; he has succeeded in 
becoming a second Lord Houghton." 


The quotation was received with amusement 
by the company, with the exception of Mr Wake- 
field, who had listened to it with serious ap- 
proval, glad of support for the views he had 
aired at the dinner-table. 

" I have given you the current interpretation 
of Liberalism," Lord Appin continued, "and I 
have here a long extract containing the creed 
of the new Labour party. I do not propose to 
read it to you, for it is very long, and the gist of 
it can be put in a few words. It is written by 
Ainsworth, and is an excellent piece of work." 

The Duchess made a mouth of disgust. " I do 
not see how one can attach much value to the 
views of a man like Mr Ainsworth. He washes 
so seldom and so imperfectly. Oh yes. Flora ! I 
know that yoiu* mother was foolish enough to 
take him up, and that she pretends to admire 
and understand him. But I have no patience 
with such a course. If the man hates us and 
is going to destroy us and all our belongings, 
then let us treat him as an enemy and not as a 
tame cat." 

"But, Aunt Susan," said Lady Flora, "he is 
really quite a dear. When he came to stay at 
Wirlesdon he wrote his letter of thanks on our 
own notepaper, and left it on his dressing- 


"The gist of Ainsworth's argument/' Lord 
Appin resumed, in a tone of mild expostulation, 
"is more or less what Imperialists say them- 
selves. He claims that none of our old creeds 
are applicable, because the conditions have 
changed, and he asks for a fresh analysis. We 
shall, of course, differ from him profoundly as to 
the nature of the new conditions and the prin- 
ciples which govern their interpretation, but our 
general attitude is the same. Provided the 
whole Empire is taken as the battle-ground, I 
am quite content to see Socialism and Indi- 
vidualism fight out their quarrel unhampered. 
So there remains for our present consideration 
only the wide word 'Conservatism.' The elder 
Toryism, we shall all agree, is dead. Indeed, I 
am far from certain if it ever existed to any large 
extent in modem times. I am afraid that it was 
in the main, like the doctrine of Innate Ideas, a 
fiction of its opponents. It still makes an excel- 
lent Aunt Sally to knock down on the hustings, 
but a modern Lucian would have to go far afield 
to find an honest exponent of it. In the depths 
of the country, in vicarages and manor-houses, 
one or two very old or very stupid men and a 
few innocent women may still hold to it. There 
is, however, a Conservatism — I beg Lady Amys- 
fort's pardon, a Toryism — which is a more living 


creed, or perhaps we had better call it an attitude 
of mind. Lady Amysfort is going to be very 
kind and read us her confession of faith." 

The lady thus appealed to flung away her 
cigarette and, lying back in her chair so that 
the glow of the lamp was behind her head, 
opened a small manuscript. 

" I ought to say," she began, " that I wrote 
this originally as an address to a meeting of 
Primrose Dames. You know the kind of thing — 
the local mayoress, the wives of rising trades- 
people, and I sprinkling of the femi clergy. 
But Henry Parworth, who read it, said that it 
would break up the Primrose League altogether, 
so I had to give them a chapter* of * Sibyl' 
instead." She adjusted her head and began to 
read in slow, clear accents : — 

" Where shall we discover the path of the States- 
man ? " asked the Stranger in the ' Politicus/ and the 
question has often returned to pull up the hasty 
politician. We hear much about administrative 
reform, the clearing out of this ofi&ce or that, but 
our political charwomen give us no clue to the con- 
structive principles of statecraft. We see both 
our traditional parties seeking the will-o'-the-wisp 
of the moment^ making their bow to the Dagon of 
to-day and the Baal of to-morrow, till it is hard for 
the unprejudiced spectator to detect wherein lies the 
difference in the articles of their faith. Yet the 
difference exists, we are told by Liberal writers. The 


Liberal party is conspicuously the possessor of a 
creed, of principles ; if they accept a new doctrine it 
is because in some occult way it is part of their 
historic policy, and if they reject it the reason is 
the same. They are the party of a continuous intel- 
lectual development, while Conservatives are hand-to- 
mouth office-seekers, attendant upon the movements 
of the traditional cat 

" It is this current and facile view of Conservatism 
which I wish to combat. The old creed of the party 
is by universal consent no longer binding. The 
Tory country gentleman who believed as his fathers 
taught him and held all reform the invention of the 
devil is an extinct being, though he may maintain a 
shadowy subjective existence in the minds of a few 
Liberal journalists. But if this belief be gone, have 
we anything to take its place ? Are our principles 
invented in the morning and discarded at the going 
down of the sun ? Are our tenets bound up with no 
rational philosophy of human society, but merely the 
hasty maxims of clever adventurers ? Mr Morley, in 
his book 'On Compromise,' has granted us some 
shadow of a creed, but our gratitude is moderated by 
the fact that it is not the creed of modem Con- 
servatism. Those principles to which he bids us be 
true, if we would call ourselves honest men and 
women, are so archaic, so tenderly romantic, that not 
even Disraeli in his youth could have wholly accepted 
them. But unless we are to court the charge of 
frivolity, it is necessary to provide some theoiy of 
Conservative statesmanship and the Conservative 
attitude. On us lies the burden of definition. The 
fact of the Conservative temper in the nation is 
beyond cavil : it is for its upholders to show that it 
is not unreasonable. If we shrink from a noisy con- 


fession of faith, there is all the more need for a 
recognition of the meaning of our attitude. We 
decline to dogmatise about politics, but we are com- 
I>elled to dogmatise about our attitude towards them. 
We must define our critical standpoint, though we 
hazard no further definitions, lest we fall into the old 
silliness and erect in our market-places altars to an 
Unknown Gk)d. 

'' My first remark concerns the vexed question of 
the relation of ethics and politics. Liberalism may be 
said to have devoted itself to the special cult of the 
political moralist. Now, to my mind, there is a vast 
distinction between conscience and conscientiousness, 
and that distinction is based upon the calibre of the 
accompanying intellect. If a man appeals to his 
conscience, I am entitled to inquire if it be the 
conscience of a man or the conscientiousness of a 
fool. Moral earnestness, if accompanied by intel- 
ligence, is worthy of all respect; but, if not so 
attended, it is merely a pathological state, like 
hysteria or delirium. I find, however, that the 
moralist in politics is apt to put a value upon con- 
science in itself. He pleads for a kind of Jmesse in 
ethics, a terrible finicking consistency, an abstract 
devotion to a very abstract creed. He refuses to 
allow the conscience to be ruled and directed by 
the mind: intellectual considerations, he says in 
eflfect, have no relevance in this spbera We main- 
tain, on the other hand, that the primary condition 
of statesmanship is what Hilda Wangel calls a 
'robust conscience.' By this I do not mean an 
obtuse mind, and still less a dishonest one. I mean 
the temper which allows the sense of right and the 
practical intelligence to go hand in hand, never 
subserving the former to the latter, but interpreting 



the one by the other. It is the temper which looks 
at the essentials of virtue and not at its trappings. 
*No great country/ Horace Walpole wrote, 'was 
ever saved by its good men, because good men will 
not go the lengths that are necessary/ 

" Now mark what the word * good ' means. This is 
no plea for the unscrupulous man who sinks morality 
in statecraft. But it is a plea for the statesman who 
can sink himself in his people, who is less concerned 
with trying to save his soul than with trying to save his 
country, who can look at the great issues of life with 
eyes undimmed by any metaphysic of morality. It 
is a protest against the saint in politics, that worthy, 
hypercritical, and useless type of mind which is in- 
capable of single-hearted action. ' La petite morale,' 
in Mirabeau's words, 'est Tennemi de la granda' 
When the Emperor Charles the Fifth, as we are told 
on good authority, appeared before the Throne of God, 
the Devil's Advocate had a long list of burnings, sack- 
ings, and slaughterings to bring against him. But 
his Guardian Angel argued thus : ' This man has 
lived a hard life among men, and not in the cloister 
or in the desert. He must be judged by fitting 
standards, and if on the whole he followed righteous- 
ness we must forget his stumblings.' And history 
adds that this view was accepted and Charles per- 
mitted to enter Paradise. 

" The first point, then, in the Conservative attitude 
is that it insists upon a robust and practical mind. 
The second is that such a mind must think and feel 
in accord with the traditions of the national character. 
In this character there are certain clearly defined 
features. It is a temper naturally conservative, prone 
to keep up the form of things, though the spirit has 
gone, till they crumble to pieces from sheer age; 


slow to think; distrustful of novelties; intolerant of 
brilliance — the temper which in the individual spells 
mediocrity, but in the mass a kind of greatness. 
Against this great rock of English conservatism the 
spirits of a Bacon, a Cromwell, a Bolingbroke, a 
Canning, a Disraeli, like so many ineffectual angels, 
have beaten their wings in vain. But the majority of 
them, being wise in their generation, recognised their 
barriers and turned their prison-house into a wall of 
defence. It is not like the conservatism of the Liberal, 
an absorption in a barren dogma ; it is the conserva- 
tism of a national temperament, and therefore upon 
it true statesmanship must build as upon its founda- 
tion. Ultimately, as most political thinkers have 
urged, the people in a blind, dumb way work out 
their own ideas, and these ideas are always right. 
There is a cant maxim among Liberal politicians that 
the statesman is the servant of democracy. So be it. 
But let a statesman serve the people by penetrating 
to their real interests and their real desires, and not 
by obeying any casual knot of agitators who clamour 
that their unintelligible patois is the voice of God. 

'* The third item in our definition is that Conserva- 
tive statesmanship must be positive. When the great 
wave of reaction produced by the French Eevolution 
had subsided, the era of Industrialism set in. New 
inventions lessened the cost of production. Manu- 
facturers and mine-owners saw wealth, colossal 
wealth, in the near future. But there was the 
labouring class to be considered, a class to some 
extent tainted with the French restlessness, demand- 
ing better pay, shorter hours, happier conditions of 
life. It was a unique chance for a constructive 
statesman, but Canning died and the Manchester 
school succeeded. With a creed made up of a few 


tags from dissenting ethics and a few dubious 
economic maxims, this school was in the main com- 
posed of capitalists and employers of labour. To 
secure a free development for the new industrialism 
was their aim, but in the meantime sops must be 
thrown to the Cerberus of the proletariat. So they 
passed the Beform Bill of 1832, that harmless excur- 
sion in academic reform, and they repealed the Corn 
Laws, which put money in their pockets, silenced for 
a moment the cries of labour, and effectually ruined 
agricultural England. Against Chartism, which was 
a crude but genuine scheme of reform, they fought 
with tooth and nail ! Reform for reform's sake, pro- 
vided it be not radical, change for change's sake, pro- 
vided it be unnecessary — such has been the lofty 
tradition of this vicious and destructive theorising. 
And thus the so-called Radicalism has advanced, pro- 
fessing a high ethical purpose, pandering to every fad 
of every clique of agitators, taking in vain the sacred 
name of Progress. And Conservatism ? It, too, has 
forgotten at times that doctrine of positiveness which 
Canning taught, but throughout its moments of error 
and forgetfulness it has never quite lost sight of its 
ideal. As the party which professes no abstract 
creed, but bases its duty upon a knowledge of 
national character and a conception of practical 
goody it has maintained that reform when it comes 
must be real, and that a trifling with change for its 
own sake is the last and fatalest heresy. 

"In 'positiveness' then the true raison cPitre of 
Conservatism is to be found. But, indeed, I object 
to the word Conservative. I should prefer to call 
myself a Tory. The former word implies that the 
centre of gravity lies in a dull conserving of institu- 
tions and creeds which may have outgrown their 


usefulness. 'Tory/ I am told, meant in the be- 
ginning an Irish robber, and the attitude of the Irish 
robber in life seems to me preferable to that of the 
hide -bound formalist who worships a Church and 
State which are no more than names to him. Toryism 
is not the path of least resistance, but a living and 
militant creed, ofiTering tangible results and based 
upon the vital needs of the nation. I have read 
many * Pleas for Unprincipled Toryism,' which were 
attempts to defend our supposed lack of a theoretical 
basis. But we have no need of such a defence. We 
have our basis, we have our principles, and they 
are none the less principles because we are not so 
arrogant as to confuse them with the laws of Sinai. 
''One word in conclusion. It seems to me that 
there is another duty incumbent upon the Tory party, 
which is perhaps of all its tasks the most arduous and 
the most vital. In our modern world we have seen 
inaugurated the reign of a dull bourgeois rational- 
ism, which finds some inadequate reason for all 
things in heaven and earth and makes a god of 
its own infallibility. Old simple faiths have been 
discredited, a spirit of minor criticism has gone 
abroad, and the beliefs of centuries are now in a 
state of solution. It is not a promising mood. 
'Provincial arrogance and precipitate self-complac- 
ency ' are not the stuff of which a strong nation is 
made. National prejudices, deep inborn convictions 
for which no copy-book justifications can be found, 
are after all the conquering forces of the world. 
The French Sevolution destroyed the cult of Church 
and King; but it inspired an equally blind and 
passionat-e worship of certain civic ideals, and with 
these in their soul the raw levies of France conquered 
Europe. To the Tory the instincts of the people 


must always seem truer in the long-run than the 
little-reasoned disquisitions of a few professors. To 
the Liberal this is heresy ; he demands a creed which 
shall approve itself to his superb intellect, for 
Liberalism is essentially the faith of the intdlectud. 
Against such an attitude it is the duty and the 
highest privilege of Tory statesmanship to wage im- 
placable war. It may take many forms — attacks 
upon institutions which still fulfil their purpose 
though in a narrow way their basis may seem ir- 
rational, dogmas in economics and theories of reform 
which have only a speculative validity, a system of 
ethics made in the study or the lecture-room. I 
know of few finer words in literature than those in 
which Burke swept away the sophistries which 
sought to abolish patriotism and defend certain vague 
cosmopolitan rights of man, or those in which 
Disraeli in the theatre at Oxford in '64 scourged 
the money-changers of popular science. And so in 
our analysis of Conservatism we come back to some- 
thing which is not unlike the beliefs of our grand- 
fathers. Conservatism in their view was sworn to 
defend Church and Throne, in our view it is 
Bwom to defend the things which lie at the back of 
Church and Throne, the instincts of a people, the 
character of a nation. It is conservative, this atti- 
tude, but it is also reforming. A people develops 
unconsciously, and this development is on far other 
lines than the progress of Liberal UlumincUi. It is 
its duty to foster this popular development as against 
the vagaries of a clique or a caucus. It is its duty 
to conserve, while there is reason, and to destroy 
ruthlessly and finally when the justification has 
passed. And it has a right to this attitude, for it 
bases its conduct upon the ' instant need of things ' 


and upon no a priori creed. Its opponents, fixing 
their eyes upon falling stars, have no leisure to study 
the ground they walk on. Mistaking their own 
elientile for the nation and themselves for Omni- 
potence, they wander like children in the dark, and 
instead of the narrow path to the Celestial City 
follow the primrose path to that sinister personage 
who, as a great authority has told us, was the first 

Lady Amysfort's cool accents had scarcely 
ceased before Mr Wakefield, who had listened 
with some attention, said loudly, "My dear 
lady, there is a great deal of sound sense in 
that and a great deal of nonsense. I detest 
your obscurantism, but on the main point I en- 
tirely agree with you. We must be positive 
and practical in our work, and the metaphysician 
is every bit as bad as the Liberal doctrinaire." 

The Duchess had had her temper considerably 
ruffled by the matter, and still more by the 
manner of Lady Amysfort's discourse. She had 
an intense dislike of the Primrose League, and a 
suspicion of Disraeli, who had once said of her 
husband that his air suggested an 'inspired 
rabbit." Looking round the circle she saw no 
one disposed to take up the cudgels for her 
much-abused party, and Lady Amysfort's atti- 
tude, as, slim and exquisite, she leaned over a 
lamp to light a cigarette, annoyed her by its 



suggestion of the supercilious. She therefore 
fixed her opponent with an austere eye, and ad- 
vanced to the attack. 

"There is much that I could say, Caroline," 
she began, "but I will confine myself to one 
point which is common to you and the writer 
of Bob's second extract. You both maintain 
that we Liberals are hag-ridden by formulas, 
and declare that the Conservatives are the only 
people who can look squarely at facts. To begin 
with, I think that you very much overstate your 
case. Heaven is my witness that I do not love 
the style of the Eadical press. I detest its loud- 
mouthed generalities, and I think the way it 
drags the most sacred words of Scriptiu'e into 
its arguments simply blasphemous. It re- 
sorts so consistently to immense appeals on 
trivial occasions, that when the great occasion 
arises it has nothing further to say. But in 
spite of all this folly you cannot maintain that 
you can do without dogma altogether, or that 
the dogmatism of the two factions diflfers other- 
wise than in degree. Take again this question 
of facing facts. I think the Liberal point is a 
perfectly good one. Things have gone hideously 
wrong under a Conservative Government, simply 
because it did not look at facts. We may 
choose — foolishly, I think — to cloak our return 



to common-sense in Nonconformist language, but 
what we really mean is that our opponents did 
not understand their data, and we are going to 
try to understand them. We are not really 
quarrelling about principles but about facts, 
and it is only a bad debating trick to pretend 
otherwise. I do not say that we shall read the 
facts correctly, any more than you did, but our 
sole justification is that we intend to try. When 
you maintain that the Conservatives look at 
facts, and the Liberal clings to principles, all 
you mean is that the diflterent sides have dif- 
ferent arts for capturing the popular fancy. We 
are apt to claim a monopoly of the purer virtues, 
you of practical common-sense ; but we both aim 
at common-sense, though my side invests it with 
the glamour of high principles, yours with the 
charm of an historic past. I honestly think that 
is the fairest way to look at our political records. 
I quite agree with you that the difference at 
bottom is one of temperament. I have heard 
Bob's voice shake with emotion when he spoke 
of Chatham, and I have seen tears in Mr Calder- 
wood's eyes when he spoke of Eternal Justice. 
I will confess that I would rather have politi- 
cians pat a little history book familiarly than 
the New Testament, but both are legitimate 
forms of appeal. Our faiths spring from the 


same source. You think us foolish ; we think 
you stupid ; while the truth is that we are both 
rather foolish, rather stupid, and in the last 
resort rather wise." 

The Duchess's remarks met with the strong 
approbation of Lord Launceston, who had been 
crossing and uncrossing his long legs nervously 
while Lady Amysfort read. 

" I think what you say is most true," he said. 
"All parties have a common basis now. They 
preach the same faith though in different accenta 
And all parties tend simply to shuffle the old 
cards at any crisis, instead of making a new 
analysis of the facts. It is the business of clear- 
eyed people to prevent this natural inclination. 
Our common basis I should call democracy — 
English democracy, that is, with all its histori- 
cal and racial colouring. It is not a dogma, 
but a fact, or rather the recognition of a fact — 
that under modem conditions Everyman governs. 
Now democracy is the great destroyer of shams. 
It clears out the rubbish and leaves the truth 
tolerably plain to the single-minded inquirer. 
Besides, it opens up the way for superiority. I 
do not say that it means always an enlightened 
rule, but it gives scope at any rate for the true 
enlightener when he arrives. It is the best, 
indeed the only, basis for building anew on. 


And here, curiously enough, it reaches the same 
result as Toryism. It used to be the old boast 
of the Tory party that it was loyal, and would 
always render faithfiil service to any leader 
who could capture it. The Liberal party, it was 
said, was too individualistic, too split up by the 
differences which come from honest but incom- 
plete thinking independently, ever to make a 
good following. Democracy does the work of 
Toryism on a wider basis. The people have no 
intellectual arrogance. They think slowly, not 
very clearly, and always on broad and simple 
lines, but when they once grasp a conception 
they are invincible." 

" We are agreed, then, on one important 
point," Carey took up the conversation. "Both 
of our great parties purport to look at facts, but 
both tend to get into conventional grooves and 
neglect their duty. However, in the democracy 
which lies behind them both, there is a per- 
manent instinct under proper guidance to revise 
the data of policy. And here I may anticipate 
what I think Lord Appin intends to say. The 
new Labour party, which claims to be specially 
in touch with democracy, urges as its chief 
raison d'Stre the duty of revision. We may 
differ from them on what constitutes the data, 
we may differ still more profoundly on the in- 


terpretation, but our general attitude is exactly 

" I have always maintained," said Lord Appin, 
"that they were our natural allies. I opened 
a review the other day and found an article on 
their programme by one of their leaders. He 
advocated a mission of labour delegates to the 
Colonies in order to confer with the Labour 
parties there and arrange a common programme. 
I confess that the proposal, crude as it was, 
cheered me greatly, as showing some kind of 
sense of imperial solidarity." 

"So, if the hooligans of Mile End sent a 
deputation to consult with the larrikins of 
Sydney and the toughs of Montreal, you would 
call that an effort in the cause of imperial 
unity ? " 

Mr Wakefield spoke with an asperity which 
for the moment left the company silent. The 
tension was relieved by Lady Flora, who, with 
an innocence not destitute of tact, inquired if a 
larrikin was the same as a bush parrot, since a 
pair had just been sent her. Upon which, with 
a paternal gravity and some humour, Mr Wake- 
field proceeded to explain to her in an undertone 
the exact distinction. 

"My point is very simple," Lord Appin con- 
tinued. "Even a class policy, which recognises 


that success can only be won on the stage of the 
whole Empire, has a certam statesmanship in it. 
For it recognises one cardinal truth, the enlarged 
basis of our problems." 

"Now, Hugh," said Carey, "you shall have 
that definition of Imperialism for which your 
soul yearns. It is simply looking at all the 
facts instead of at only a few of them. We 
begin by realising that we are not an island 
but an empire, and therefore, in considering 
any great question, we take the whole data into 
account. Imperialism, if we regard it properly, 
is not a creed or a principle, but an attitude of 

Lady Flora caught the last words in the midst 
of her lecture on bush parrots. " That is exactly 
what Cousin Charlie said when Uncle George 
found him at Monte Carlo when he should have 
been at his Embassy. Uncle George said it was 
a disgrace that he should be seen in such a place, 
and Charlie said it wasn't a place but an attitude 
of mind." 

" We are all Imperialists at heart nowadays," 
Carey went on, "except Lady Flora, who is a 
wicked girl. Every party is more or less resigned 
to the fact of empire. Some kick a little against 
the pricks, some are half-hearted, others bum 
with zeal ; but all have the same conviction 


that it is inevitable. We have not begun yet to 
work out the details seriously, but we have won 
the first position. And that is as it should be. 
The Empire must be accepted, like the Monarchy, 
as a presupposition in politics which is beyond 
question. Any inclination to use it for party 
ends should be as jealously condemned as the 
occasional attempts to drag the King's name 
into current controversies or to assume that 
patriotism is the monopoly of one side. We 
shall, of course, always diflfer on particular ques- 
tions, but there should be no diflterence on the 
ideal. Indeed, I honestly think that there is 
little among ordinary sane-minded people. The 
average man may be described as a confused 
Imperialist. He wants to make the best of the 
heritage bequeathed to him ; his imagination fires 
at its possibilities ; but he is still very ignorant 
and shy, and he has no idea how to set about the 
work. The first of imperial duties is to instruct 

"And yet,'' said Mr Astbury, ''I find many 
people openly contemptuous of the ideal. I dare- 
say this contempt is due to imperfect understand- 
ing, but we have to face the fact that many 
are not only apathetic about the things we care 
most for, but actively hostile." 



Lord Appin reopened his scrap-book. "True 
enough. We have some honest opponents, and 
a few mdiflterently so, and I have been at the 
pains to collect their opinions. I think I can dis- 
tinguish several types. There is, first of all, Mr 
Luke Simeon, who surrendered his fellowship at 
King's to * labour,' as he says, among the masses. 
He is eminent at Browning halls and university 
settlements, and has done much, I believe, to 
civilise the East End by the distribution of 
indistinct reproductions of Giotto and Botticelli. 
He is a pale, earnest, well-meaning, and rather 
silly young man, who should have remained in 
the church of his clerical forefathers. He attacks 
Imperialism as the * worship of force.' It repre- 
sents, he says, that tendency of a decadent age 
which may be observed in the Roman ladies who 
took their lovers from the prize-ring. Up to a 
point I agree with him. The worship of brute 
force, of mere conscienceless power, is the most 
certain sign of degeneration. His fallacy is that 
he really condemns force altogether, whether 
exercised for a beneficent purpose or not, and 
he hides his bias under the assumption that 
Imperialism means power without ideals or con- 
science. He has a temperamental shrinking 
from certain of the hard realities of life, and 


he flatters his weakness by investing it with a 
moral halo. He lives in a little world of artistic 
and literary trifling, and he has consequently no 
perspective, so that he will quote you a bad 
artist on some point of foreign policy and a minor 
poet on some problem of economics. His shallow 
aesthetic soul is revolted by three-fourths of life, 
so he dubs it evil and rejects it. He is not a 
young man whom it is worth taking pains to 
convert, but his stuff has its vogue, and he has 
disciples. We have but to expound the moral 
purpose in our creed to take the logical ground 
from beneath his feet, for, though he desires it 
in his heart, he is not prepared for an absolute 
condemnation of power. Then we have our 
Benthamite friend, Mr Wrigley of Manchester, 
who is one of the few remaining exponents of 
the old Eadicalism of the 'forties. War is his 
special dislike, and commerce his idoL He is 
averse to empire partly because his mind is full 
of Rome and Carthage and he has not the imag- 
ination to conceive a new model, partly because 
it gives scope for energies which are only by 
accident utilitarian. His ideal State would be 
a community of Samuel Budgetts and Worldly 
Wisemans. The answer to him and his kind is 
that their doctrine is built on a false conception 
of human nature, and that in tranquillising life 


they would denude it of all that makes it worth 

' Summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudori, 
Et propter vitam vivendi perdere causae.'^ 

For good or for ill humanity has long since decided 
against him. Next, there is the school of which 
we may take Mr Cliatterton as a represent- 
ative. In theory they are full-blooded and 
masculine enough, though their heroics smack of 
Peckham. They love to rhapsodise about * Old 
England' and the Elizabethans, and beer and 
cricket, and heaven knows what. Their com- 
plaint is that a spacial extension means a weak- 
ening in intensity of the national life, and they 
also will throw Rome and Athens at your head. 
They are all for the virility of England, they say, 
as against the neurotic restlessness of the Im- 
perialist. With them, again, I have a certain 
sympathy, though the taunt of * neurotic ' comes 
ill from gentlemen whose style is so explosive 
and delirious. The answer to their arguments 
depends upon the question of the value of space 
and of the whole material basis in any spiritual 
development, and in deference to Mr Wakefield 
we will leave that over till a later day. Lastly 

1 Juvenal, viii. 83 : " Count it the laat disgrace to prefer life to 
honour, and for living's sake to destroy all that makes life worthy.'' 



comes an honest fellow for whom I have a great 
regard. You all know Ambrose by name. He 
lives on twopence a-day and slaves at his phil- 
anthropy. He objects to empire because im- 
perial questions distract the attention of the 
nation from urgent matters of home reform. 
And he is perfectly right. As long as we make 
' national ' and ' imperial ' water-tight compart- 
ments, there must be this jealousy. What we 
have to show him is that the whole is one great 
problem, and that his own interests cannot be 
realised save by the help of the other interests 
which he despises. And then he will be on our 
side, for at heart he is one of us." 

" You have omitted," said Mrs Wilbraham, 
" the greatest source of opposition — the folly of 
some of our own people. Why is it that many 
of us — myself for one — ^grow nervous when the 
word 'Empire' is mentioned, and get hot all 
over ? Human nature is so hopelessly silly. A 
dear creature, whom most of us know, started a 
league last year to ensure that women throughout 
the Empire should be reading Shakespeare at the 
same time every evening. * How sweet,' she said, 
* to think that every night at half-past nine the 
whole English-speaking world would be repeating 
immortal words,' and she was very angry with 
me for saying that the English-speaking world 


would be much better employed dining. And 
then, what is to be said about our poetry ? I 
had a collection of imperial songs from the works 
of popular poets sent me this summer. One had 
the chorus, * We can all do our little hit for Eng- 
land.^ Another was an invocation to empire — 
^ Empire t the very thought of thee! ^ And, worst 
of all, there is Sir Herbert Jupp. You know how 
ambitious he is to be a great orator, so he has 
had many elocution lessons, and he speaks when- 
ever he is invited. It is the most dreadful stuff, 
and he winds up always with a tag from some 
bad poet, which is enough to make one cry. One 
could believe that he was hired by our opponents 
to make our case ridiculous. I almost think that, 
more than any other party, we suffer from a 
defective sense of humour." 

" Tut, tut," said Mr Wakefield, heaving himself 
from his chair and straddling into the firelight. 
" It will never do to be hypercritical. It is only 
a dying cause which can attain to perfect taste. 
A living creed is sure to have its extravagances 
and its crudities, but it can afford to be absurd. 
After all, we must have our subalterns as well 
as our marshals, our Garibaldis as well as our 
Cavours and Mazzinis. The more silliness in 
Imperialism the better, say I ! It shows that it 
is getting on terms with human nature, which is 



deplorably silly. Of course our poetry is bad, of 
course our rhetoric is tawdry, of course we show 
no sense of the ridiculous! And the reason is 
simply that we are in earnest. If we once be- 
come self-conscious, then we may as well shut up 
shop and pull down the sign. . . . Carey, my 
soul longs for a whisky-and-soda I " 



Hugh had found a comfortable chair in the lee of 
an acacia thicket, whence he looked over a stretch 
of low bracken to the lawn which swept from the 
house along the edge of the escarpment to the 
home woods. The sunshine lay warm around 
him, but the clear air had none of the sultriness 
of noon. Rather it burned like some dry ether, 
with an aromatic freshness in its heat. In 
accordance with his good resolutions he was re- 
newing his acquaintance with the classics, and 
was reading aloud to himself the exquisite 
cadences of Theocritus's Seventh Idyll. 

" I am the foul fiend. Flibbertigibbet ! " said a 
voice at his elbow, and Lady Flora, with an arm- 
ful of .books, sank upon the mossy turf beside 
hiuL " No ! Stay where you are. I want to 
sit here. Poor Mr Somerville, I've come to dis- 
turb you again. But it is our compact, you 
know. What have you been reading?" 

" Greek," said Hugh, holding out his book. 


" Poetry ! Well, so have I — all the morning. 
We played such a good game, which Charlotte 
Wilbraham invented — making comic imperial 
poetry. It is quite easy. You simply get all the 
names of places you can think of and strmg them 
together, and then put at the end something 
about the Flag or the Crown or the Old Land. 
Mr Wakefield was rather cross at first, but he 
was soon pacified, and he played very well. I 
thought the first night he was a dreadful old thing, 
but he is really very kind, and quite amusing." 

" I want to hear your poem," said Hugh. 

" Oh, I couldn't write any — at least nothing fit 
to read aloud. I'm too stupid for clever games. 
But I carried off Marjory's, in spite of her pro- 
tests." The girl took a paper from between the 
leaves of a book and read the following verses : — 

" ' Bests not the wild-deer in the park, 

The wild-fowl in the pen, 
ITor nests the heaven-aspiring lark 

Where throng the prints of men. 
He who the King's Path once hath trod 

Stays not in slumhrous isle, 
But seeks, where blow the winds of Grod, 

His lordly domicile. 

Where 'neath the red-rimmed Arctic sun 

The ice-bound whaler frets. 
Where in the mom the salmon run 

Far-shining to the nets ; 


Where young republics pitch their tents 

Beside the Western wave, 
And set their transient Presidents 

As targets for the brave ; 

Where|[through th' illimitable plains 

Nigerian currents flow, 
And many a wily savage brains 

His unsuspecting foe ; 
Where gleam the lights of shrine and joss, 

From some far isle of blue, 
Where screams beneath the Southern Cross 

The lonely cockatoo ; 

(The last word may be * caribou.' Marjory 
wasn't sure whether a caribou or a cockatoo 
was likely to scream most.) 

Where in the starlit Eastern night 

The dusky dervish sleeps. 
Where the lone lama waits the light 

On Kangchenjanga's steeps ; 
Where Indian rajahs quaff their pegs 

And chase the listless flies, 
Where mazed amid a pile of kegs 

Th' inebriate trader lies ; 

There, o'er the broad and goodly earth. 

Go seek th' imperial souL 
Broken the barriers of his birth, 

Th' eternal heavens his goal 
In wind or wet, in drink or debt, 

Steeled heart no fate can stir. 
He is the Render of the Net, 

Th' Immortal Wanderer.* " 


" It is long," said Lady Flora, when she had 
finished, " but, like the White Knight's poem, it 
is very, very beautiful. Charlotte said it had 
the true ring of colonial poetry. Do you know, 
Mr Somerville, of all the discussion last night 
I scarcely remember anything except that Im- 
perialism has nothing to do with being a Liberal 
or a Conservative, and that it means we must 
begin all over again. Also I remember that it is 
not a creed, but an attitude of mind. I thought 
a good deal about that when I was having my 
hair brushed this morning. Somebody once told 
me that according to philosophers everything is 
only an attitude of mind — you and I and the 
sun and Musuru and the butterfly over there. Is 
that true ? " 

" Of course," said Hugh. " We are all creatures 
of the Red King's dream, but till he wakens up 
we pretend we are real." 

" I wish," said the girl pensively, — " I wish I 
could believe that Aunt Susan was only an atti- 
tude of mind. She has arranged a picnic for this 
afternoon, and I did so want to go for a gallop 
over the moor we passed through the first day. 
Don't you think, Mr Somerville, we could slip 
away by ourselves? You've been here before 
and know the country, so we shouldn't lose 
our way. I've been round the stables, and 


there is a little white Arab I have set my 
heart on." 

It was impossible to refiise a request that so 
chimed with his own wishes, and Hugh readily 
consented. At luncheon their path was made 
easy, for the Duchess had a headache and did 
not appear. Accordingly about three o'clock 
they found themselves cantering up a grassy 
ride among the woods, scaring the small buck 
and the bush pheasants, the white Arab buck- 
ing furiously, and Hugh's sedate Africander pony 
shying at every rustle in the trees. 

At the end of the wood a great swell of down- 
land lay before them. They gave the ponies their 
heads against the slope, and settled down for a 
long gallop. Soon the heat of the day had gone. 
A wind of their own creation sang in their ears, 
the scents of the moor, distilled by suns and 
dews, rose in waves to greet them, the horizon 
disappeared, and they saw only the misty fleeting 
of the ground beneath them. The ponies knew 
their country and never stumbled. Jumping 
little streams, plunging through tufts of fern, 
and scrambling cat-like among broken rocks, 
they never lost the same easy delicate motion. 
It was pure ecstasy, the very essence of physical 
well-being, and when after some two miles they 
stopped with lathered mounts and scarlet faces 


on the top of a long ridge of hill, they looked 
into each other's eyes in frank and cheerful 

Hugh jumped from the saddle and helped 
Lady Flora to dismount. " Let us sit down," 
he said, " and look at the view. We are on 
the backbone of the plateau. Musuru is 200 
feet below us ; and look ! there is the lake quite 

He pointed where far to the west and deep 
down in the great trough shone a gleam of 

The girl, still panting, looked where she was 
bidden and then closed her eyes. 

" It is pure paradise," she said. " What have 
we done to deserve it ? I have to pinch myself 
to remember we are not galloping on some Sussex 
down. What lies to the north ? " 

" Some hundreds of miles of unknown bush and 
then the foothills of Abyssinia." 

" East I know. West there are the great lakes 
and the Mountains of the Moon and the Congo 
forest, I suppose. And south ? " 

" The plateau runs down for some hundreds of 
miles to German territory, and then you get into 
Nyasaland and the Shir^ Highlands, and in the 
end you come to the Zambesi." 

^' My imagination faints. Please, don't tell 


me any more. And we are here as pioneers, 
except for the Musuru colony. Savagery is on 
every side, and yet in half an hour's ride I can 
get back to my maid and a French cAe/'and the 
latest English novel. It is too much, Mr Somer- 
ville ; I am not worthy of it all." 

They were sitting near the edge of one of the 
native tracks which intersect the moor. As Lady 
Flora spoke a party of natives on trek came 
along, blankets on shoulder, the men carrying 
spears and shields, and the women with babies 
slung on their backs. They saluted by raising 
their hands high above their heads, and Hugh 
acknowledged the greeting. 

" They look like some of the northern tribes 
who have been down at the railway selling cattle. 
Their home is probably near Rudolf There, if 
you like, is the romance of Empire. Here is a 
young lady in a blue habit riding after luncheon 
and exchanging courtesies with aborigines from 
the heart of Africa." 

The girl rose to her feet and disentangled her 
reins. " Let us go on, please," she said. " I feel 
so full of life and adventure that I cannot sit 
still. Where shall we go ? Let us visit Prester 
John and demand tea. I'm sure Melissinde must 
be charming, and I'm dying to make her acquaint- 
ance. Or shall we try Soria Moria Castle in the 


Mountains of the Moon ? Nothing is impossible 
this afternoon. The names of the places are like 
tunes — Musuru, Ruwenzori ! " 

" What about the imperial poetry you parodied 
this morning ? " 

" I recant, please, at once and for ever. The 
worst geographical verses are full of poetry, and 
I shall spend the rest of my life writing them. 
The ponies are rested, and we can have another 
gallop along the ridge." 

A couple of miles off was a small kopje crowned 
with a few trees. To this they raced, and the 
girl was an easy victor. For, coming suddenly 
upon a narrow rocky watercourse, she took it 
flying, while Hugh's more sober pony insisted 
on scrambling down and up the banks. At the 
kopje the plateau was cut into by a long glen 
running up from the west, and they looked down 
from their eminence on steep bush-clad sides end- 
ing below in a dark evergreen forest. A soft 
purple haze hung over the depths, and from far 
down came the music of a waterfall. 

For a little Lady Flora was silent with delight. 
She made a charming picture as she reined up 
her Arab on the edge of the slope, the sunlight 
in her hair, while with one hand she shaded her 
eyes and looked out to the horizon. 

" I never realised before what space meant. 


Of course I have been up mountains, and I once 
camped in the desert for a week, and I've been 
several times on the high seas, but I seemed 
always to carry my own atmosphere with me. 
But here everything indoors and commonplace 
and conventional is a million miles behind. I 
suppose I am the first woman who has ever been 
here, and I feel as if the place had been created 
for me and had been waiting for me since the 
beginning of time. What an egoist I am ! " 

On these uplands in mid- winter the dark comes 
swiftly, and already the sun was going down 
behind the far hills in a riot of crimson and 
amethyst. The heat had gone, and a chilly 
freshness was creeping into the air. 

" We must be making for home,'' said Hugh. 
" Let us canter back gently, for an East African 
twilight is not a thing to hurry through. So 
you are getting the sense of space into your 
blood ! Well, that is Imperialism, you know, 
or at least the foundations of it. We all get 
stuffy sitting tight in our old creeds. We live, 
most of us, in gardens which are very pleasant 
and well -watered, but sleepy and not over- 
wholesome. And we grow old and stale before 
our time — the old age of decay, not the honest 
old age of being worn down with the friction of 


" But how hard it is for a woman to avoid it I 
Men have such a wide world compared with ours. 
Our business is only to adapt ourselves to things 
as they are. Men can mould them as they please, 
and if they find the shades of the prison-house 
closing on them, they can put their packs on 
their shoulders and shake the dust of civilisation 
off their feet. How I envy you all ! " 

" That is one way, but not the best way. A 
man can always run off, but the best of them 
won't. Their business is to try and shape things 
according to a better plan. Our lives are like a 
lot of separate circles scattered about in space. 
Sometimes they are cut by others and then we 
have fi*iends, and talk of this man or woman 
* coming into our lives.* I have heard you use 
that phrase at least a dozen times since I came 
here. Now and then one circle largely overlaps 
another, and then people are in love. Once in a 
blue moon, perhaps, two circles almost coincide. 
And then you have what is commonly known as a 
happy marriage. But the circles always remain 
the same size, so for restless souls love and mar- 
riage and even friendship are no solution, as you 
very wisely observed yesterday. And it is no 
remedy to remove the circle from London to Poly- 
nesia or the Klondyke, for you do not make it 
any bigger by changing its site. The only thing 


to do is to draw a larger circle with a wider 
radius. Only," said Hugh sadly, " those who do 
that often fail to complete it, and leave only a 
broken arc to show how vast their design was." 

" I like that metaphor," said the girl musingly. 
" Of course it is quite true that you do not get 
any nearer satisfaction by shifting your dwelling. 
But how hard it is for us to stretch the com- 
passes and describe a wider circle." 

*' It is getting easier every day. Our great- 
aunts had a code of rules laid down for them 
which nothing could break through. They left 
the schoolroom for a year or two of sentiment 
and gaiety, and then married and became good 
housewives ; or perhaps they didn't, and steered 
a precarious course on the high seas of scandal. 
Our grandfathers thought that the only choice 
lay between Amelia Sedley and Becky Sharp. 
They had not discovered Diana Warwick." 

The sun had gone down, and a soft mulberry 
afterglow filled the western heavens. The ponies 
stepped sedately over the rough veld, till the 
woods rose black in the twilight, and they entered 
the long ride which led to the house. 

" I think," said Lady Flora, " that our circles 
are being widened for us. I know that in the 
last three days mine has expanded so far that 
London is only a little patch in a comer. I 


suppose you would say that we women are citizens 
now and not shepherdesses in porcelain." 

" Yes, that is a part of the truth. I was in 
Paris at Whitsuntide, and went to see Pfere 
Antoine. He is very old and blind, but he talks 
wonderfully, and his mind gets clearer with age. 
He said that the chief fact of the modern world 
is that humanity is drawing closer together. 
The State is taking the place of the old 
Church, and politics are acquiring a new mean- 
ing. Classes and ranks are being broken down, 
and men are beginning to find not only their 
duty but their happiness in community. They 
feel and think corporately, and not as atoms. 
It is something like this which the whole string 
of 'isms from Comtism to Marxism has been trying 
to expound. A political creed was once a list of 
dogmas which meant nothing to the ordinary 
man or woman. Now every creed — ours as well 
as others — must spread its roots into all the in- 
terests and affections and aspirations of our life. 
Another saying of his impressed me a good deal. 
He declared that the worst modern vice was 
* spirituality,' and that the most crying need was 
that the world should awake to the value of its 
great temporal heritage — * n6tre grand heritage 
temporel ! ' That means much from a man who 
all his life has preached a mystical religion." 


The hall-door appeared before them with a glow 
of firelight shining into the chilly night. A groom 
led away the ponies, and soon the riders were 
warming cold hands at the hearth. 

Lady Flora called Heaven to witness her enjoy- 
ment of the afternoon. "And how serious we 
grew ! I suppose it was the twilight, which 
always makes me sad and sentimental. After 
tea let ns go and find Colonel Alastair and Sir 
Edward, and play games on the billiard-table. I 
think we both want a bear-fight to bring us out 
of the clouds." 

The library at Musuru was a long room, panelled 
in some dark sweet-smelling wood, with the book- 
cases sunk in the walls. As with Gibbon's Em- 
peror Gordian, so with Carey : sixty-two thousand 
volumes attested the variety of his inclinations. 
It was a working-room, as the maps and papers 
piled on the desks bore witness, and its strenuous 
air was increased by the absence of any ornaments 
or pictures. But it was also a pleasant place for 
talk, for the shaded light gleamed cheerftiUy on 
vellimi and morocco, and the low chairs round the 
great fireplace invited to comfort and conversa- 
tion. The Duchess's headache continued, and her 
niece had gone to sit with her. The rest of the 
party disposed themselves about the hearth in a 



circle, while their host stood as usual planted 
squarely on the hearthrug. 

"Our conclusion last night," Lord Appin be- 
gan, "was that Imperialism cut across parties 
and demanded a revision of all traditional dogmas 
in face of a new body of fact. This, of course, 
does not mean any breach in our historical 
continuity. We have a vast deal to learn fix)m 
all the traditional creeds; only they must be 
re-thought, as it were, and presented in a new 
system and a new language. This process, we 
also agreed, involved a change in our attitude 
of mind — indeed this change, if I remember 
aright, we defined as the essence of Imperialism. 
Instead of being negative, temporising, and un- 
scientific, we must show ourselves positive and 
constructive. We have now to work out some of 
the details of our creed, so far as they are clear, 
and like philosophers we begin with the widest 
category. Our host commands us to-night 
to consider the question of the constitutional 
apparatus, the machinery of imperial union." 

Lord Appin^ as if aware of the gravity of the 
undertaking, selected a large cigar from his case 
and carefully lit it. 

"First let us repeat all the platitudes," he 
continued, "and get done with them. The 
pivot of the Empire is the Crown. In the last 


resort all our units, colonies and dependencies 
alike, submit to the sovereign executive power. 
We have also, roughly speaking, one law, for 
though I believe — Mr Wakefield will correct 
me if I am wrong — that at least five great 
legal systems and many smaller codes exist 
within the Empire, yet we have one ultimate 
tribunal of appeal, and therefore some continuity 
of interpretation. As I remember once hearing 
Mr Wakefield say, * To have the power of con- 
struing colonial laws and customs is to have 
the power to guide and restrain, to have, in 
effect, control of development.' Now these two 
common possessions are a stupendous machinery 
of union, if properly directed. The trouble is 
the modes in which the sovereign authority is 
exercised. Its functions have been in practice 
delegated to the British Cabinet, and there- 
fore, indirectly, to the British Parliament. Now 
clearly such Cabinet and Parliament must have 
two aspects — a national one, for the British Isles, 
and an imperial one, in which they control the 
Empire. But with the grant of self-govern- 
ment to so many colonies there can be no 
direct control, and so the doctrine of trustee- 
ship has been brought into being. I think it 
historically correct, and it has the further merit 
of exactly covering the existing practice. A 

xv^ V 


government rules England and the dependencies 
directly, but as regards the autonomous colonies 
it acts as a trustee for their welfare — that is 
to say, it provides for their defence, and re- 
serves the right in the last resort to veto any 
of their legislative acts which it thinks danger- 
ous to the Empire as a whole. This might be 
a perfectly satisfactory arrangement if our 
Cabinets or Parliaments were not human, and 
the magnitude and number of imperial questions 
were not beyond their power. A Parliament 
confronted with a great quantity of local prob- 
lems can only give a perfunctory attention to 
most imperial matters, and in any case cannot 
hope to make itself sufficiently well informed 
on them to give its decisions much weight. 
Hence we get dissatisfaction on both sides. A 
Canadian who attends the debates in the House 
of Commons may wait for days before one im- 
perial consideration emerges, and may see the 
Government which controls his destinies turned 
out of office on some business of English edu- 
cation. And the Englishman may justly com- 
plain that his own affairs are scamped because 
the men who were elected to look after them 
have to give their time to some Indian frontier 
question. The Home reformer and the Im- 
perialist alike tend to grumble against a 


doctrine which seems to impose upon certain 
old-fashioned machinery a task too heavy for 
its performance. Have I stated the difficulty 
correctly, Mr Wakefield?" 

The gentleman appealed to nodded his ap- 
proval, and Lord Appin continued — 

"We have to try and find some way out of 
the difficulty. I shall leave that to others who 
have made the subject their own. But I have 
one word of caution to give. Before dinner I 
looked into Bismarck's Memoirs, and I was 
much struck by certain sayings of his which 
Busch reports. He had to face the problem of 
finding some constitutional machinery for the 
new German Empire. There were plenty of 
legalists around him to prepare formally perfect 
schemes. But Bismarck most wisely counselled 
patience. ' Let us take,' he said, ' what we can 
get, what the States are freely willing to give 
us. As long as we have the impulse to unity 
in the soul of our people, almost any scheme 
will work. But if we once begin to squabble 
about details and impose a cast-iron constitu- 
tion no scheme on earth will work. We can- 
not coerce the national life into narrow channels, 
but if we foster that life it will make in time 
the proper channels for itself ! ' There, to my 
mind, spoke the true creative statesman." 


Lord Launceston, whom the company seemed 
to expect to take up the tale, straightened 
himself from the depths of a long chair, where 
he had been studying the fire, and looked de- 
precatingly towards the last speaker. 

" Are we not rather putting the cart before 
the horse ? " he inquired mildly. " Yesterday we 
.greed upoo the'mea^og of our .ttitude-a 
frank recognition of new conditions. But that 
IS merely a formal definition, and we want to 
know the nature of the spiritual change and 
the new principles which are bom from it. 
And now you suddenly ask me to consider a 
piece of practical detail, and minute detail at 
that — the kind of constitution we propose for 
our State. Is not that a little premature?" 

" There are two reasons for the arrangement," 
said Carey. "One is that it seems wise to 
sketch the ground -plan of our new republic 
tentatively, since that is only another way of 
looking at the data which must be our basis. 
When we see what we have to work with, we 
can go on to deal with principles. The second 
is that Wakefield is so notoriously intolerant of 
metaphysics, or anything approaching them, that 
we thought it wise to go gently with him and 
burn a little incense before his shrine in the 
shape of practical details." 


Lord Launceston acquiesced, and continued— 
" I have had the ideal of federation before me 
ever since I began to be interested in politics, 
and I suppose I have read of or discussed almost 
every scheme that has been propounded. I own 
I am not very enthusiastic about any. They all 
begin with what Bismarck reprobated, asking 
too much. The chief — the scheme of legislative 
federation — need not detain us. Its principle is 
home rule for each unit and a central imperial 
legislature to govern and make laws for the 
Empire. It is an ideal fit enough for a small 
and compact empire, but to one so immense and 
scattered as ours, it is for the present, at any 
rate, wholly inapplicable. I do not dogmatise 
on what the fiiture may bring forth. Distances 
have shrunk since our great-grandfathers' time, 
and we are nearer to Toronto and Cape Town 
than they were to Rome, but the difficulties of 
space and time are as yet insurmountable. I 
have other objections to legislative federation 
besides its impracticability. I question if it is 
the most suitable ideal for an empire which 
contains on the one hand self-governing colonies, 
and on the other dependencies where autonomy 
is eternally impossible. The Tropics will always 
be a bar to a type of union which belongs 
essentially to white men and the Temperate 


zones. Again, it means the creation of a new 
representative body, and in face of the growing 
impotence of representative assemblies constructed 
on the old lines, I doubt if it would be wise to 
experiment with another. Besides, in all the 
units of a federation there must be a fairly 
uniform development. All must have attained 
to a certain height of self-conscious national life, 
so that they can enter the federation on equal 
terms. But can we maintain that such uniformity 
exists with Britain at one end of the scale and, 
shall we say^ South Africa at the other ? Lastly, 
unity must precede union. There must be im- 
perial solidarity in fact before it receives formal 
recognition. The Empire is a living growth, and 
any forms we impose upon it must correspond to 
its living movement ; otherwise, instead of chain- 
mail we shall have a strait - waistcoat. Any 
rigid scheme of federation applied prematurely 
will either be inoperative, and so bring the ideal 
into discredit, or it will curb and choke the life 
and produce monstrosity instead of growth." 

" For the time being," continued Lord Launces- 
ton, "I do not see either the feasibility or the 
merits of federation in the common sense. Our 
conditions are not the conditions on which the 
ordinary federation is constructed. But," he 
added cheerfully, "there is no reason why we 


should not develop a type of our own to meet 
our special requirements. There is no need to 
cumber ourselves with the irrelevant precedents 
of other empirea Let us make the most of the 
elements of consolidation we possess. Our 
primary merit is our elasticity. Our ideal is 
that of Virgil : — 

' Non ego, nee Teucris Italos parere jubebo, 
Nee mihi regna peto : paribus se legibus ambae 
Invictae gentes aeterna in foedera mittant.' ^ 

We have our free nations and our protected 
states, and in them all the one bond of union is 
the ultimate executive! power. Any attempt at 
federation must proceed, therefore, on the ex- 
ecutive side. The legislative side may be left 
cheerfully to the care of the * trustee' doctrine, 
as Lord Appin has called it. But since we have 
services common to the whole Empire, expert 
knowledge is demanded, and we must have 
some machinery for calling to our assistance the 
practical wisdom of all our component States. 
We want, that is, a Council, and if you must 
have an epithet, I should prefer Imperial to 
Federal I have considered in my day many 
proposals for such a Council, and I cannot say 

1 iBneid, xii. 189-191. " I will not bid Italian serve Teucrian nor 
for myself seek I kingdoms. Let the two races, unconquered, and 
with equal rights, join in eternal friendship." 


that I have yet made up my mind on any one 
of them. That, however, is not important. We 
are not now drafting the Act to establish such a 
body. If we are agreed upon the principle, it 
does not pass the wit of man to devise the details. 
I have no doubt that Mr Wakefield is ready 
with some admu^able device." 

Mr Wakefield was about to speak when he 
was forestalled by Lord Appin, who murmured 
dreamily — "What a conception! An Imperial 
Bound Table to which colonial statesmen should 
flit like halcyons over the waters ! " 

These words did not please Mr Wakefield. " I 
fail to see the suggestion of comedy," he said 

"Comedy?" said Lord Appin soothingly. **I 
should not dare to hint at it. But you will have 
a considerable intellectual admixture. Our own 
Parliaments contain a confusion of types, but 
we have never before ransacked the globe for 

Mr Wakefield was only half appeased, and 
began in a slightly aggrieved voice — 

" The chief fact we have to reckon with," he 
said, "is colonial nationalism. All the self- 
governing colonies look upon themselves as 
nations — new national types with a specific 
national future. They began life under different 


conditions from England, and brought to their 
new lands only a light baggage of English tradi- 
tions. Those new lands are themselves a great 
moulding force as regards national character. 
The boy who grows up in the backwoods and 
the boy who goes the conventional round of 
Eton and Oxford will become different men, 
though they may be the sons of the same father. 
A colony begins with a struggle for bare life, 
scarcely conscious of her own existence, only of 
her needs. And then success comes, and more 
success, and one morning she wakes to find that 
she has become a nation and can call the older 
people cousins. She has no standard of com- 
parison, and begins by being extremely self- 
confident and bumptious. Take a young man 
and plant him with a wife in the wilds and tell 
him to make a home. So soon as he has done 
it he will begin to brag, and the harder the 
struggle the finer the fellow he will think him- 
self. For, mind you, it is all his own— he owes 
little or nothing to borrowed capital, — so he 
writes * Alone I did it' above his shanty, and 
looks down his nose at Creation. We call him 
a braggart, but we are wrong, for he is some- 
thing subtler than that. He is a child, supremely 
ignorant, supremely courageous, crowing over his 
first triumph. And as it is with the individual, 


80 with the people. As soon as they can straighten 
their backs and look around, and see a very good 
and entirely new earth, they pronounce the bene- 
diction of the Almighty in Eden, and swagger 
outrageously. Everything they have is the finest 
in the world, and they themselves are the last 
word in human perfection. 

" Well, that is all natural and proper, for it is 
only a stage, and does not last. The man finds 
himself prosperous, but fragments of his early 
recollections come back to him, and he begins 
to want to know something about his forebears. 
He used to plume himself on his isolation : now 
he wants to be related to somebody. He sus- 
pects that he is badly educated, and he tries 
to correct his deficiencies. By -and -by a tre- 
mendous fit of humility seizes him. He has 
made an estate for himself and his children, 
but he wants some of the graces of life. He 
sends his boys to European schools, or he 
hunts up his kin in the old country, or he 
imports old furniture and pictures for the deco- 
ration of his new house. It is the second stage 
— when he begins to recognise that he cannot 
isolate himself, that he is bound by ties of 
kinship and race and inherited culture to a 
larger world. Once again what happens with 
the individual happens with the colony. She 


ha43 attained to a fuller self-consciousness, and 
is aware not only of her merits but of her 
defects. On one side, therefore, she is con- 
spicuously humble. She wants to learn all the 
wisdom of the ages that the old world can teach, 
but when she has learned a little she will brag 
once more, and say that she discovered it for 
herself, and then she will be humble again and 
want to learn fiirther. On the whole she will 
show, if considerately treated, a real intellectual 
docility. But rememUr, d.e wiU oevor .bate 
one jot of her national pride. The colonist, who 
is eager to get the best that England can give 
him, and will sit at the feet of teachers, is yet 
perfectly certain at the back of his head that 
he is a monstrously fine fellow, in no way inferior 
to any man whose advice he asks and takes. 
This pride rubs off a little with experience, but 
at first it is raw and nervous, and terribly quick 
to take offence. It is in her early stages that 
a colony is most difficult. When she becomes 
perfectly sure of her foundations and looks 
around the world with calmer eyes, she is no 
longer so intolerant of criticism and eager to 
scent out insult. 

*' Colonial nationalism is built up on the basis 
of this temperament. The chief element in it 
is pride of achievement and a readiness to fight 


the world to compel acknowledgment. It may 
be a little irritating at times, but the statesman 
will view it approvingly, for it is the spirit which 
makes a strong people. It will accept advice, 
but never dictation. At all costs it demands 
the right to work out salvation on its own 

Mr Wakefield paused to relight his cigar, 
which had gone out in the process of his 

"If there were no other elements," he re- 
sumed, "then we might say good-bye to any 
thought of a United Empbe. But, jomed with 
this local pride, is the feeling I have already 
described, a sentimental attachment to the 
parent race, an eager desire to acquire those 
other elements of civilisation which their new 
land cannot give them. In a sense, therefore, 
this national pride becomes the chief incentive 
to union. They admit themselves second to 
no other people, but, when they look round, 
their practical good sense tells them that, as 
isolated nations, they are separated by centuries 
of development from the greater Powers of the 
world. They can only reaUse their ambition 
by the assistance of the other branches of their 
race. They wish for union, because it involves 
no sacrifice of pride. They believe, rightly or 


wrongly, that they can give as well as receive. 
If they have less wealth, they can show a high 
level of sterling manhood. If they have a 
smaller weight of political thought behind them, 
they are free from the less worthy accretions of 
tradition. The contact with mother earth, the 
struggle with nature in her wilder moods in a 
land of sunshine and winds and great spaces 
where man can breathe — surely it all must 
enable them to think freshly and clearly, and 
to recognise some of the simple and eternal 
truths which are clouded over in a more so- 
phisticated life." 

"That," said Lord Launceston, "I am very 
ready to admit." 

"Good. Well, then, any scheme of union 
must reckon with this nationalism. It is on 
the constitutional side that it is most jealous, 
for to a free colony her constitution is a kind 
of visible sign of her independence, the very 
Ark of her Covenant. You must, therefore, 
devise some scheme which leaves their autonomy 
for the moment intact, for any change must come 
as a concession from them and not as a mandate 
from England. I look forward to the day when 
the Colonies of their own accord will surrender 
to the central executive many matters which 
are now in their complete discretion. But that 


executive must contain their own members, and 
the reform must be mooted by some body rep- 
resentative of the whole Empire. 

" And now I come to the practical question of 
methods. We want a Council, which shall in- 
volve no harsh break with our present policy, 
and shall also do no violence to colonial national- 
ism. Bemember what our aim is. We have an 
alliance — for that is the real relationship — ^and 
we want to make this alliance closer and more 
organic, and to devise bonds which shall be 
enduring and yet elastic, expanding with the 
growth of our corporate life. Now a mere ad- 
visory council is good, but it is not enough. It 
is the form suitable to an alliance, but we want 
something more. Our Council should therefore 
be given certain executive functions. Faithful 
to our principle of making use of existing 
machinery, we might begin with the Cabinet. 
Why should not the King on the executive side 
sit in imperial as well as in national session? 
The Cabinet at its normal meetings might deal 
with the affairs of the British Islands ; but in 
imperial session it would deal with questions 
common to the Empire — the army and navy, 
foreign afiairs, commercial treaties, the conflict 
of laws, currency, postage, shipping, natural- 
isation, — there is no end to the list. At present 


the British Defence Committee has power to 
summon Colonial representatives to its deliber- 
ations. Carry the practice one step fiirther. 
Give the Cabinet the same power, and let Col- 
onial privy councillors sit in its special session, 
not merely as advisers but as members of the 
executive, and you have the nucleus of a true 
Imperial Council." 

" It is a nucleus, certainly," said Hugh, " but 
if the point about our nucleus is its indefinite 
capacity for expansion, you have omitted one 
vital provision. How are your Colonial repre- 
sentatives to be chosen ? If, as at present, they 
are only siimmoned by the King on the advice 
of the British Cabinet, that Cabinet will remain 
the sole real executive." 

Mr Wakefield smiled indulgently. " You have 
raised the very point I was coming to. The 
Colonial members must be representative, other- 
wise they can claim no mandate fi'om their 
people. I propose to extend the principle of 
the triennial conferences of Premiers. Why 
shpuld not they take place more often, — say 
every second year, — without any great incon- 
venience. The Premiers would be Cabinet Min- 
isters ad hoc, and would attend the Cabinet in 
its imperial session. Few of the greater im- 
perial questions are so urgent as not to be able 



to wait for such sessions, certainly not the great 
questions of policy. The Imperial Cabinet would 
have power to vote money, the Colonial repre- 
sentatives voting according to the proportion of 
Colonial contributions. As the Colonies grow 
to their full stature and assume more of the 
imperial burdens, these contributions will be- 
come larger, and their power of control propor- 
tionately greater. The Premiers would have a 
mandate in a true sense from their colonies, for 
the subjects discussed in the Cabinet would 
already have been discussed in their own parlia- 
ments, and might even have been at issue in the 
previous elections. In time Colonial officials 
would be appointed to the great executive posts 
in the Empire, and we should attain to the only 
practical form of imperial federation— one central 
and representative imperial executive. I would 
also suggest, as a supplement, a permanent com- 
mittee of the Privy Council, with advisory fimc- 
tions, to discuss imperial questions between the 
sittings of the executive, and a permanent Im- 
perial Intelligence Department to keep in touch 
with any new developments. Such is a rough 
outline of a scheme which seems to me both 
possible and desirable. It may be amended in 
detail, but I think it is right in its main lines." 
"I would like to ask one question," said Mr 


Astbury. "To what representative body would 
your Imperial Cabinet be accountable?" 

"In the first instance to the British Parlia- 
ment, though the Colonial representatives would 
of course be accountable to their own parliaments 
also. If at some future time there should come 
any form of imperial legislature, then the Cabinet 
would naturally account to it." 

Lady Warcliff had hitherto borne small share 
in the discussions. Her extreme mental energy 
was accustomed to take the form of restless 
organisation rather than the speculations of 
debate. Since her arrival at Musuru she had 
been busy investigating every detail of the 
management of that immense household, and 
had all but driven the Scotch major-domo into 
lunacy. She had mastered, too, the principles 
of the agricultural settlement, and was engaged 
in the somewhat hopeless task of convicting Mr 
Lowenstein of error in certain financial methods 
he had employed in his philanthropy. She had 
sat through the previous discussions with half- 
closed eyes and an air of elegant isolation. Now 
her preoccupation with other things seemed at 
an end, for she took up Mr Wakefield's parable 
with a surprising vivacity. 

" I quite see the merits of your scheme, but 
jou will permit me one criticism. An imperial 


executive, such as you propose, would no doubt 
do admirably all the work of the Empire which 
concerned the mother -country and the free Col- 
onies. But what about the dependencies — India, 
Africa, and the Far East? I have always re- 
garded them as in a special sense the domain of 
England, in which the Colonies had no manner 
of interest. Would they not, with their fetich 
of independence, resent the very existence of 
protectorates, or in any case give them a very 
perfiinctory attention ? " 

"Your objection, my lady," said Mr Wake- 
field, ** springs from a misunderstanding of de- 
mocracy, and especially colonial democracy. If 
the people are ever to rule they must learn to 
trust their servants. At present, I grant you, 
they are apt to be childishly suspicious of the 
proconsul. But that suspicion is no true demo- 
cratic product. The only justification of de- 
mocracy, as Lord Launceston said yesterday, is 
that it clears the way for superiority. Until 
it is realised that its mandate, once given, carries 
with it complete confidence it will never be a 
governing creed. And this is beginning to be 
realised. It is the labour leader who is the best 
disciplinarian, and the demagogue who is given 
the most rope. Besides, our democracy in the 
Colonies is a very curious thing, and I look to 


it to counteract the vices of the home-grown 
variety. It advocates conscription and colonial 
navies, and it is inspired throughout with 
national pride. If it had its own people shar- 
ing in the government of India or Egypt, do 
you suppose it would talk about * satraps' and 

* prancing proconsuls'? It would think of the 
protectorates as Grod-given trusts and fields for 
the vitality of our race to exercise itself in. 
Kemember. our democracy is a white man's de- 
mocracy, and we are not moved by any foolish 
Bousseauism about the rights of man. It is 
otherwise, I know, in England. When I was 
there this summer I made it my business to see 
people of all shades of opinion. At a meeting 
in the Queen's Hall I heard Mr Corley- Pratt 
declare that India was an incubus, a wen, a 
lifeless weight, a stain upon the conscience of 
the British people, and everything else that 
could be metaphorically mixed. I read a pro- 
test by some University professors against the 
annexation of Situnga, on the ground that to 
keep a people in political tutelage was to be 
guilty of slavery. I found many good men who 
still clung to the Gladstonian view that any 
rising of fanatics was an effort of a people 

• rightly struggling to be free.' These gentlemen 
would have all the possessions of England re- 


distributed by some International Labour Con- 
gress. I tell you that such infernal nonsense 
would not be tolerated in the Colonies for one 
instant, and the man who talked it would be 
lynched. No, madame ; we have our race pride, 
and any insult to it by professor or politician 
is hotly resented. Our democracy is the creed 
of men and not of sentimentalists." 

Lord Launceston had listened a little anxiously 
to Mr Wakefield's closing words. 

''I grant its merits, but it has its dangers 
too. A high-handed Bismarckianism is as much 
a risk to the well-being of our dependencies as 
any academic cult of the rights of man. But 
I agree with you that democracy will find in 
itself a cure for its weaknesses, and that it will 
not endanger those great realms we hold in 
trust for races who are unfit to struggle single- 
handed in the arena of the world. In these 
questions I am what you call a 'mugwump.* 
I lay down no canon, and only ask that our 
grave responsibility be recognised, and that each 
problem as it arises be determined on the facts, 
illumined by reason and conscience. But to 
return to your Council, with which I am wholly 
in sympathy. I think that on the whole your 
account of Colonial feeling is just. There is no 
doubt about the reality of the impulse towards 


union. At present our machinery is adequate, 
but it will not always remain so, and what is 
right in an alliance will be futile in a more in- 
timate relation. We must recognise this tend- 
ency and prepare for change ; very cautiously 
at first, for we are dealing with life^ remember, 
and no dead matter which can be coerced into 
any mould we please. The reform, we are 
agreed, must begin on the executive side. We 
have our Empire, and it is right that its common 
services should be administered as efficiently as 
possible. There we are on solid ground. As I 
have said, on the question of legislative federa- 
tion I am very doubtful. I am not at all certain 
whether the world is not passing away from the 
doctrine that legislation should proceed only from 
a representative body. So certain German legal- 
ists think, and there is a good deal to be said 
for the view. But at any rate we can neglect 
that question for the moment, and trust to time 
to bring its own solution. But the other is a 
question for the present. There is no need for 
haste, but a beginning must be made, and the 
ground prepared for development. It is well 
to begin early to lay down the lines of the vessel 
into which we are to change, for if we wait till 
our present ship goes to pieces we may find our- 
selves in the water. Tou cannot improvise an 


army in the hour of need, and it is no easier 
to improvise a constitution." 

Mr Wakefield had lit another large cigar, and, 
pleased with the ready acceptance of his views, 
turned a cheerfiil face to the company. 

" There must be no undiLe haste, but we should 
not waste time. As you know, I strongly be- 
lieve that the moment has come for a reform of 
imperial tariffs so as to create a system of pre- 
ference within the Empire. If we delay, the 
Colonies will make separate treaties with other 
countries, and where the treasure is there will 
the heart be also. Further, certain industries 
which might yet be preserved to us will pass 
to other hands, killed in British hands by pro- 
tected rivals abroad. I will not argue the 
matter, for our host, who does not agree with 
me, has vetoed the subject as foreign to the 
purpose of our conference. But my point is that 
the thing can only be settled by some represent- 
ative Imperial Council — not a mere conference of 
Premiers, but a Council with a mandate from the 
whole Empire to consider and decide the ques- 
tion, and with all the material for decision at 
its call. Moreover, it could only be worked 
in practice by an imperial executive. I agree 
with our opponents to this extent, that without 
some such machinery it would be madness to 


elaborate any preferential system. Take again 
the business of defence, on which Colonel Graham 
may have something to say." 

Graham, who was still suffering from the 
drowsiness begotten of hours unwontedly late, 
hastily collected his wits, and asked for the 
question to be repeated. 

"It is a matter I have thought a good deal 
about, and I have bombarded the War Office 
with my schemes. Generally speaking, I want 
to affiliate colonial levies to the regular army for 
training purposes, and also for mobilisation in 
time of war. The last war showed that we 
fought as an Empire, but the difficulty is to 
organise all our splendid fighting strength so as 
to give it the maximum of force in a crisis. I 
will not trouble you with any of my schemes, 
which are long and intricate. But the rock we 
shipwreck on is the question of colonial contri- 
butions, and this obstacle will remain until we 
get some kind of joint executive. We cannot 
get the Colonies to put their men under our 
control unless they have a share in that control, 
and no one blames them for the feeling. They 
want to run their own show themselves, but they 
would be perfectly content to be affiliated with 
us if they had a say in the management. The 
same thing appears in the contributions to the 


navy. No colony likes to vote a sum and have 
no voice in expending it. It is the old question 
of taxation without representation. A common 
executive would get us over the diflBculty, for 
then it would be the whole Empire which asked 
for men and money and directed the use of both." 

Lady Flora had slipped silently into the room 
and perched herself upon an arm of Marjory 
Haystoun's chair. She looked a little bored with 
the discussion, and was preparing to depart again 
when the stem eye of Mr Wakefield arrested 
her. Apparently addressing his words to her, 
though in reality unconscious of her presence, he 
declared that Colonel Graham had spoken ex- 
cellent good sense. 

" Our main obstacle after all is the insularity 
of England. The Colonies are insular too, but 
that does not matter, for it is with England that 
the motive power still lies, and from her must 
come the chief impetus. At this moment London 
is the centre of gravity for the Empire, perhaps 
for the world. But how long will that continue ? 
England owes her predominance mainly to two 
facts. First, she has been outside the arena of 
European strife, and has not been for centuries 
the cockpit of wars. Her development, political 
and economic, has been allowed to proceed un- 
checked. Again, by the gift of Heaven, she was 


the fortunate possessor of certain means of pro- 
duction, such as coal and iron, and was able to 
get a long lead in the industrial movement. But 
how long will all this continue? Already her 
lead is shortening. In time her coal and iron 
supplies will decline. She owes her large popu- 
lation mainly to her industrial pre-eminence, and 
the loss of it will mean starvation and bank- 
ruptcy. She cannot hope to compete with coun- 
tries which feed themselves and are self-contained 
towards the world. But where she fails as an 
island, she may succeed as an empire, for the 
Empire ha. wittin its bound, every Lgredieot of 
national wealth which other peoples can show. 
In time to come the centre of gravity will change 
according to natural economic laws. If electricity 
should replace coal as the motive force of the 
future, a country such as Canada, with her im- 
mense water-power, will be far better endowed 
by nature than England. Or some undreamed- 
of force may be discovered by science which will 
make some other colony the predominant indus- 
trial partner. Further, manufacturers will in the 
long-run migrate to the site of the raw material, 
and Birmingham and Lancashire will not always 
keep their prerogative. At present, again, Lon- 
don, from her position and her vast accumulated 
wealth, is the financial centre of the globe. But 


every European nation is turning her eyes to the 
development of her outlying possessions ; and, 
moreover, we have Japan and the United States, 
and in the near future China, to carry that 
centre out of Europe. I can foresee the day when 
Sydney or Vancouver wiU be far more eligibly 
situated than London for transacting the business 
of the world. Well, if all this will happen some 
time or other, surely it is wise to make early 
provision that it shall happen smoothly and com- 
fortably. If you can arrange that industries 
shall have the chance of transference on natural 
lines throughout the Empire, and that popu- 
lation shall follow them, you have no need 
to fear any economic (M)dcle. At present you 
have forty millions of people to our ten, but what 
will be the proportion in a hundred years' time ? 
We must provide for some elasticity in our 
interests, and this can only be secured by think- 
ing of the Empire not as England plus a number 
of poor relations, but as one organic whole, whose 
centre is to be determined by the evidence of 
time. This is no new doctrine. Adam Smith, 
who will not be suspected of wild-cat dogmas, 
preached it as the logical corollary to any policy 
of colonisation. In the early centuries of the 
Christian era the great Councils of the Church 
were held, now in Spain, now on the shores of 


the Bosphorus ; and such mobility, which is the 
fruit of true cohesion, must be the ideal of our 
Empire if it is to survive. We are connected at 
present, but it is to the interest of us all, and 
especially of England, to be more closely related 
if we are to be secure against the future. In- 
sularism must cease to dominate British policy, 
and be left only to the obscurantists and re- 
actionaries. Such constitutional union as I pro- 
pose is only a small and formal beginning, but it 
will make broad the path for the true spiritual 

" Imperialism, then," said Lord Appin, " is to 
be defined from the English point of view as a 
kind of national old age pensions scheme ? " 

But Mr Wakefield, having had his say, and 
having secured, as he believed, the assent of his 
audience, was not to be disturbed by any 

"I accept the definition gladly," he said. 
" That is Imperialism on the business side. The 
other sides — and I grant you they are many — I 
leave to people more competent to deal with 

Carey walked to one of the shelves and took 
down a book. 

"Do you remember," he said, **a passage in 
which John Davis, the Elizabethan seaman, held 


out a prospect for his countrymen? I fear he 
was actually talking of the North Pole, where 
his dreams have not been realised; but we can 
apply his words to the ideal of a united 
empire : — 

" * How blessed may we think this nation to be, for 
they are in perpetual light, and never know what 
darkness meaneth, by the benefit of twilight and full 
moons, as the learned in astronomy do very well 
know ; which people, if they have the notice of their 
eternity by the comfortable light of the Gospels, then 
are they blessed, and of all nations most blessed. 
Why then do we neglect the search of this excellent 
discovery, against which there can be nothing said to 
hinder the same? Why do we refuse to see the 
dignity of God's creation, since it hath pleased the 
Divine Majesty to place us the nearest neighbour 
thereunto? I know there is no true Englishman 
that can in conscience refuse to be a contributor to 
procure this so great a happiness to his country, 
whereby not only the prince and mighty men of the 
land shall be highly renowned, but also the mer- 
chants, tradesmen, and artificers mightily enriched.' 

You see what an old creed ours is, and how 
catholic in its application. You will find cover 
under these words, Wakefield, for your practi- 
cality, and Marjory for her transcendentalism, 
and Teddy for his romance. I think we may 
close our discussion for the evening with John 
Davis, who makes a good tail-piece. For the 
next two days we shall let the matter rest, for 


some of us are going hunting. On the evening 
of the day after to-morrow I propose that we 
take up another question of detail, and a very 
practical one^-our tropical possessions." 

Ck)nsidine rose and marched resolutely from 
the room. "If you and Alastair," he said to 
Hugh, "expect to be ready at four to-morrow 
morning, you had better get to bed." 

Lady Flora looked at him with stem dis- 
approval. " Am I to be allowed to come ? " she 

"My dear child!" said Mrs Yorke. "They 
are going after lions ! Besides, what about the 
conventions ? " 

The girl shook an impatient head. " You 
have broken our compact at the very be- 
ginning," she whispered to Hugh. "If I were 
not such a Christian and such a lady, I should 
be seriously annoyed. But you are quite wrong 
if you think that you'll have any adventures as 
good as I shaU have here. I am going straight 
off into the wilds on the white pony to make 
friends with Prester John." 



The stars, which had heen shining with a frosty 
brilliance, were paling towards dawn before Hugh 
was sufficiently awake to see where he was 
going. He had been routed out by Alastair 
Graham in the small hours, and had somehow 
found himself on a horse, in a great blanket- 
coat, with half-a-dozen dusky figures trotting 
alongside. He had been jogging on for half an 
hour before he finally rubbed sleep out of his 
eyes, and, drinking long draughts of the electric 
air, roused himself to some interest in life. The 
sky was changing from black to some ineffable 
shade of purple, and the track among the 
mimosa thorns was beginning to glimmer ahead 
in a fantastic grey. Soon remoter objects dis- 
tinguished themselves — a kopje, a big tree, a 
jag of rock. And then over the crest of the 
far downs came a red arc of fire, and the 
heavens changed to amethyst and saffron, and, 
last of all, to a delicate pale blue, where wisps 


of rosy cloud hung like the veils of the morning. 
They were near the western edge of the escarp- 
menty and, looking down into the trough, Hugh 
saw over the great sea of mist the blue fingers 
of far mountains rising clear and thin into the 
sky. The air was bitter cold, and the cheeks 
tingled with the light wind which attends the 
dawn. Lines of Theocritus — the oXeicrwp 
KOKKvK(ov vapKaiaiv dvtapat(rt of the Seventh 
Idyll — ran in Hugh's mind fi:om his reading 
of yesterday. He realised that his senses had 
become phenomenally acute. His eyes seemed 
to see farther, his ears to mark the least sound 
in the bush, while the scents of the morning 
came to his nostrils with a startling fresh- 
ness. Pungent, clean, yet with an indescrib- 
able tropic softness in it, was the air of the 
desert, which he sniflPed like the Scriptural 
wild ass. He looked round at his companions. 
Graham, a burly figure in a sheepskin coat, 
rode somewhat in the manner in which Napoleon 
is painted as retreating from Moscow, sitting 
squarely in the saddle with a meditative chin 
on his breast. Considine's long lean figure on 
a blue roan seemed wholly in keeping with the 
landscape. He wore an old khaki suit and a 
broad-brimmed felt hat, and sat his horse as 
loosely as a Boer. He leaned forward, peering 



keenly about him, whistling some catch of song. 
In civilised places he looked the ordinary fax- 
travelled sportsman, a little browner and 
tougher, perhaps, than most. But the Con- 
sidine of the Turf Club and the Considine of 
the veld were different beings. The bright 
eyes, set deep in the dark face, and the sinewy 
strength of his pose gave him the air of some 
Elizabethan who had sailed strange seas to a 
far country. To Hugh at the moment he seemed 
the primal type of the adventurer. 

Soon the travellers were greeted by the most 
comforting of all the scents of the wilds — the 
smell of a wood fire, and the faint odour of 
roasting coffee. Their boys had made their 
breakfast-camp in the crook of a little stream, 
where the forest ended and the long downs of 
the northern plateau began. In a few minutes 
Hugh was sitting luxuriously on a pile of rugs, 
drinking excellent coffee out of a tin mug. The 
Trappist silence of the early ride was over. 

** You'll get none of the luxury of Musuru 
here, my boy," Considine said. " We are going 
to have the same fare as Alastair and I enjoyed 
a week ago — tinned stuff and what we kill 
YouVe hunted yourself, and know that to eat 
potted meat with your fingers out of a tin 
after a hard day is better than a dinner at the 


Ritz. Akhub," he cried, "what about the 

The chief shikari — Zanzibari Arab, ex-slave- 
trader, and heaven knows what besides — bowed 
gravely, and informed his master that he had 
arranged for Graham to go due east into the 
down country, where buck and rhino were 
plentiful; Considine should keep on to the 
north, where he had a better chance of a good 
eland head; while Hugh was to remain on the 
edge of the escarpment, where lay the best 
chance of lion. 

Considine nodded. " You'll want your Mann- 
licher for buck," he said to Hugh, "and your 
•400 cordite expres& For pity's sake don't go 
into the bush after lion without the express. 
Akhub is going with you and will look after 
you. I want you to get a lion, but remember 
he is worth taking pains about, or he may get 
you. I've twice been clawed by them, and it's 
no sort of ftm." 

Breakfast over, the parties separated, and Hugh 
with the shikari and five boys set out along 
the rim of the plateau. A pleasurable excite- 
ment, with just a shade of trepidation in it, 
flavoured his morning pipe. He yearned to get 
a lion, but he had some nervousness lest he 
might show up badly in a tight place, having 


never before faced anything more dangerous 
than a sleepy Norwegian bear. He was a good 
shot enough in a Scotch deer-forest, but a situ- 
ation where a miss meant not annoyance but 
mortal peril was new to his experience. 

The cold morning changed to a hot noonday, 
and at two in the afternoon Hugh sat down to 
lunch, in a better frame of mind. He had got 
two hartebeests with fair heads, and in a marshy 
place a really fine waterbuck. His anxiety, he 
found, had not impaired his steadiness, and he was 
recovering his composure. He was still soft from 
civilised life and tormented by a thirst which 
several cups of hot tea barely assuaged. Lunch 
was perforce a short meal since he had to meet 
the others at a certain point which Akhub de- 
clared was three hours' riding ahead, and if he 
wished for more hunting there was no time to 
be lost. 

The afternoon's trek was hot and dusty, and 
he had little sport. Green doves and a white- 
tailed hawk were the only signs of life in the 
bush, which seemed to lie torpid in a universal 
drowsiness. By -and -by they entered a timber 
tract, where large acacias and junipers made 
glades like an English park. It was drawing 
towards evening, and according to Akhub's cal- 
culations another half- hour would bring them 


into touch with the rest of the party. Hugh 
had ahnost abandoned the thought of sport, 
when a sudden cry of 'ngatun-yo from the boys 
made him look down a tributary glade. He 
saw a great yellow beast, like an overgrown 
dog, go lolloping across into a thicket of trees, 
and with a beating heart he recognised that 
he was at last in the presence of a veritable 

Earlier in the day he had carefully planned out 
his conduct. He would quickly yet calmly take 
the express from the bearer, and circumspectly 
yet swiftly reconnoitre the ground for a shot. 
Alas for good resolutions ! At the first sight of 
that tawny back Hugh was off in pursuit down 
the glade at full gallop, while an agitated boy 
waved the neglected weapon in his rear. He 
had his Mannlicher on his saddle-bow, and almost 
unconsciously he slipped in cartridges while his 
eyes searched the environs for a sign of his 

Suddenly he saw him a hundred yards ahead 
trotting along a narrow native path. He was 
going slowly, unconscious apparently of the 
proximity of man. Hugh dismounted, hitched 
his well-broken horse to a tree, and sent a flying 
shot at the beast, which had the effect of making 
him halt for a second, look round, and then turn 


into the shade of the trees on the right. Hugh 
ran up to where he had entered, and a little 
nervously looked into the sparse bush. There 
was the Uon weU in range, so, kneeling down 
and aiming carefuUy, he fired. A shot from 
behind is never easy, and as it chanced the 
bullet went low and shattered the left hind 
leg. The beast stopped with a growl of pain, 
turned slowly round and looked at the intruder, 
lashing the low bushes with his tail. 

The moment had come for a second shot, and 
Hugh got it in full on the chest, but a little too 
high for the heart. An express bullet would have 
stretched him out, but the little Mannlicher had 
no such power. The great beast roared in fury, 
caught sight of his enemy behind a tree-trunk, 
advanced a pace, and then gathered himself for a 

With a nervous hand Hugh had managed to 
slip in fresh cartridges, and as the lion moved 
he fired. It was a clean miss, and Hugh had 
a conftised sense of something yellow and evil- 
smelling flying through the air as he leaped 
aside. Whether consciously or unconsciously, he 
had fired his second barrel, and the next he knew 
he was picking himself up, unhurt but shaken 
and blood-stained, from beneath a branch which 
the lion had broken, while the creature himself 


lay stone-dead a yard off. The last shot had by 
a miracle found the heart. 

Hugh's first Impulse was to make assurance 
sure by firing into the body, but a moment's 
inspection convinced him that there was no life 
left. Then his mood became one of insane jubila- 
tion. Alone and with the wrong rifle he had 
killed his lion. He felt three inches taller ; he 
longed for Akhub, for Considine, for any one to 
come and see. And then a growl behind him 
made him turn his head, and he forgot his pride 
in abject terror. For there, about twelve yards 
off, was a second lion, bigger and darker in the 
mane, glaxing at him wrathfuUy with his ugly 
jaws half-open. 

His hand went to his cartridge-belt, only to 
find it empty. He felt his pockets, but not a 
cartridge remained. They had dropped out in 
the fall and lay some yards off beyond the dead 

Hugh did the only thing possible, and sprang 
for the nearest tree. He was not a moment too 
soon, for as his quaking body was swimg up to 
the second branch something tore at his leg, and 
the next moment he was contemplating boot and 
gaiter ripped off at the back and a long scratch 
in the flesh. In the same second he seemed to 
hear a shot ring out — no ping of a Mannlicher, 


but the honest thunder of an express — and 
the long dark face of Akhub appeared in the 

It was a very chastened hunter who descended 
the tree to receive the congratulations and re- 
proaches of the chief shikari. It was abundantly 
clear to him that he had done an unpardonable 
thing, and, but for the activity of his boys and 
the near neighbourhood of the tree, might have 
been stretched torn and dying beside his quarry. 
But the mood could not last. The exhilaration 
of a successful adventure came back to him. 
After all, he had walked up his lion with a 
small-bore and killed him unaided. With huge 
pleasure he now saw that his own animal was the 
finer and bigger of the two. 

He lit a pipe and jogged on in the deepening 
twilight, his whole soul filled with the joy of 
conquest. This was life indeed, for, say what 
we may, there is no satisfaction so intense as 
victory over some one of the savage forces of 
nature. Better for the moment than viceroyal- 
ties or Garters or millions is the joy of making 
the first ascent of some hard peak, or sailing a 
boat home through a tempest, or seeing some 
wild animal faU before your own courage and 
skill. In that hour Hugh would not have 
changed places with Launceston or Carey. 


Soon he came into the glow of a big fire- 
Lanterns were hanging from the boughs of a 
huge juniper, and beds were being got ready 
underneath. At little fires close by the boys 
were cooking supper. 

The others welcomed him with a great shout. 
" Well, what luck ? " 

" Two lions," said Hugh, with studied modesty. 
" One mine and one Akhub's — and a few buck." 

"Gad 1 you've had the cream of the day," said 
Considine. "I got nothing but a hartebeest. 
And Alastair never had a shot. How did you 
get your lion?" 

Hugh told his story to a disapproving audience. 

"You foolhardy young devil! Though, after 
all, I suppose I've done the same thing in my 
time. How's your leg?" 

"A scratch. Only wants a simple dressing. 
I've learned my lesson all right, for I never was 
in such a blue funk in my life. You don't find 
me stalking lion with a Mannlicher again. For 
heaven's sake, old man, give me a drink." 

Considine, following the bushveld ritual, doled 
out to each a small whisky-and-soda. ''Keep 
that in mind, Hugh, when you next go on trek. 
After a long day you want a pick-me-up before 
you dine, or you can't eat ; and if you can't eat 
you can't sleep, and if you can't sleep you get 


fever as sure as fate. Never touch the stuff in 
the daytime, and Tm against it at dinner, but as 
a pick-me-up there's nothing like it." 

They sat down with tremendous appetites to 
that best of meals, a hunter's supper. There 
was tinned soup, which they drank out of mugs, 
curried guinea-fowl which Alastair had shot, 
venison-steaks stewed with onions, and a species 
of tinned plum-pudding which was the joy of 
Considine's heart. Coffee and peach brandy 
completed the courses, and then the three got 
into sleeping-bags, had more logs put on the fire, 
lit their pipes, and prepared for the slow talk 
which merges gradually in slumber. 

Hugh snuggled into his kaross with a profound 
sense of comfort. He felt warm, satisfied, and 
indomitably cheerful. Never had his pipe seemed 
sweeter ; never had he felt his mind more serene 
or his body more instinct with life. The wide 
glade was lit up by the fire, and the high 
branches made a kind of emerald canopy picked 
out with the golden points of stars. The boys 
were singing monotonous native songs around 
their bivouac, and through the wood came the 
eerie rustling of night winds. A zareba of thorns 
had been built round the camp, close to which 
the horses and mules stood patiently champing 
their fodder. The camp was a miniature city. 


with its fortifications and its watchmen, and 
Hugh felt himself in a new world — the hunter's 
civilisation, the oasis which he makes anew for 
himself each night in wilds which are careless 
of human life. For a moment his mind travelled 
back to Musuru, where at that hour delicately 
clad women would be sitting down to rich food 
amid flowers and silver and white linen. The 
contrast was so piquant that in the catholic mind 
it awoke the spirit of comedy. 

" What are you cackling at, Hugh ? " Considine 
asked. "Fling me your tobacco-pouch like a 
good chap, for mine's empty. Lord ! how often 
I've lain like this and smoked and looked up at 
the sky. And how many good fellows have done 
the same and are at it still ! It's all very well 
for Wakefield and the rest to theorise about 
Empire. I daresay it is logical and scientific 
enough. But you can't get the feeling of all 
it means till you've got very close to the bones 
of the old Earth, and heard her muttering to 
herself, and realised what a tough old fiend she 
is and what a job it is to get even with her." 

" Si jeunesse savait ! " said Hugh. " That's the 
tragedy of life— that the men who do the things 
can never tell about them or quite understand 
them. They only feel dimly that they are in 
the grip of some gigantic destiny. I don't sup- 


pose the Three Hundred when they combed their 
long hair for death before Thermopylae ever 
thought what a gorgeous game they were play- 
ing. If they had, they would have gone into 
battle drunk with pride and walked through 
Xerxes' army. It seems a law of mortality that 
the instinct for deeds and the guiding and under- 
standing brain cannot be equally matched, except 
once in a thousand years in a Csesar. The world 
is full of dumb, blind people, doing admirable 
work and faced with wonderful sights, and all 
the time without a glimmering of an idea of 
the magnificence of it." 

Sir Edward Considine was in ordinary life a 
gentleman of cultivated manners, who spoke the 
English tongue with reasonable purity. But in 
the bush he developed a style of his own, and 
talked a slang culled from four continents, which 
the present writer cannot hope to reproduce. He 
tossed Hugh's tobacco-pouch back to him, raised 
himself on one elbow from his couch, and shook 
his head emphatically. 

" They understand," he said, " better than you 
or I can tell. I've made a special study of the 
scallywag, and what I don't know about him 
ain't worth knowing. Most people make the 
mistake of thinking that he is always of the 
same type. There are a hundred types of him, 


and only one thing common to each — they are 
all dreamers." 

"But for your infernal noise I should be one 
now." said Graham sleepUy from the far bed. 
Considine picked up a boot, landed it neatly in 
the midst of the heap of rugs, and continued — 

" I've been stuck up in half a dozen parts of 
the world with fellows who hadn't been home for 
years. Most of them used to talk Johnsonian 
English simply because they had forgotten when 
they last spoke to a white man, and thought of 
English only as a book language. None of them 
talked much, and it was the devil's own job to 
get them to speak of themselves. But they were 
the salt of the earth for all that, living hard, 
working hard, and ready to sell their lives any 
day in the way of business. Do you think that 
kind of man is only a mill-horse, jogging on in his 
round because there is nothing else for him to 
do ? I tell you every man-jack of them has got 
his own private dream. He knows he has got 
his race behind him, and that he is the advance- 
guard, and the thought bucks him up to rot away 
in swamps and shiver with fever, and in all 
probability be cleaned out in some obscure row. 
Nobody knows another man's life, but we get 
glimpses now and then of his inner soul and 
take off our hats to it. You remember Lacey, 


who was at Eton with Alastair and me? Ask 
Alastair about him." 

" What ? the fellow who was killed somewhere 
up Chitral way ? " 

Considine's boot had brought Graham to atten- 
tion. " Yes ; he held a border fort with a dozen 
men for five days against several himdred ruffiana 
He fought so well that they wanted to spare him 
at the end and made him all kinds of offers. But 
he stuck it out, and they only got in over his 
body. When we found him he had about fifty 
wounds on him." 

" I remember the story," said Hugh. 

'* Well, I was a pal of his, and he had made me 
his executor. I got his diary that he had written 
up till the day he died. If I hadn't seen that 
book I would have sworn that Lacey was the 
ordinary stupid fellow who fought because he 
liked it, and that he had stuck it out more from 
obstinacy than firom policy. But the diary 
changed my mind. I found that he had care- 
fully considered the whole question of surrender. 
Overtures had been made to him, and apparently 
they were such as he could have trusted. But 
he concluded it was a case for the white man's 
pride. He reasoned it all out. If he kept his 
head up to the last, he thought that the moral 
effect on that particular part of the border 


would be so great that there would be little 
more trouble. He deliberately chose death be- 
cause he fancied it was his duty. And of coiunse 
he was happy. The last pages of that little book, 
all grimy and blotted with blood, were one long 
psean of triumph. He couldn't spell, and he had 
very little idea of writing, yet the end of that 
book was the purest lyric of joy. The sacrifice 
was not in vain either, for, as you know, it ended 
the war, and now the blackguards who killed him 
burn offerings to his shade at hillside shrines." 

" I don't for one moment deny that the great 
spirits — the leaders — have a clear ideal before 
them. But surely the same thing doesn't apply 
to the ordinary rolling-stone who wanders into 
adventures because he cannot keep out of them, 
and hasn't an idea in his head except that he 
likes to knock about the world." 

" I never yet met the man without an idea in 
his head," said Considine ; " but I give you up the 
ne'er-do-well, who has something rotten about 
him in heart or brain. I mean the wanderer who 
likes the wilds better than civilisation, and there- 
fore is what civilised people call an idler, simply 
because the only things they recognise as work 
cannot be done in the kind of places he frequents. 
I know the breed, for he belongs to my own 
totem, and in defending him I am more or less 


justifying myself. My game is exploration, and 
I work at it pretty hard, though it's what you 
might call an intermittent profession. Another 
fellow's is natural history or mapping or pro- 
specting or something else. We're devilish un- 
satisfactory people to our wives and families, I 
know, but, still, we don't rust. We keep our 
minds keen and our bodies active, and I scarcely 
call that idling. We're the least frivolous kind 
of man on the planet, and the least vulgar. Look 
at the ordinary industrious citizen. He wants to 
' get on ' in his beastly trade, and to have a house 
in Mayfair and a place in the country, and marry 
his daughters well, and get into Parliament and 
have a title to clap on to his squalid name. Or 
perhaps he wants to be applauded in the papers 
and be treated as a personage wherever he goes. 
I ask you if these are ambitions for a white 
man ? " 

Considine filled his pipe again from Hugh's 
pouch, and lit a match with difficulty. A light 
wind had got up which flickered among the high 

^'Last time I was at home I went with 
Blanche to a ball at the Templetons. It was 
a big affair — royalty and ambassadors and a 
brace of foreign grand dukes, one of whom once 
himted with me in the Selkirks. I stood for 


about half an hour beside a pillar and watched 
and meditated. The noise round about me was 
just like the jabbering of monkeys in a Malayan 
forest. None of the people looked you squarely 
in the eyes, and the women had all faces like 
marionettes. I saw my aunt's head bobbing and 
grinning, and her talk was some scandal about 
her oldest friend. Two fellows were standing 
near me — one was in the Cabinet and the other 
was a tremendous legal swell — and they were 
laughing at some of Manton's last sayings. 
Hanged if I could see any humour in 'em ! One 
of the two came and spoke to me afterwards, and 
said he supposed the scene must be a pleasant 
change to me after the Congo. I told him it 
wasn't much of a change, only the monkeys were 
caged instead of running wild on the tree-tops. 
He laughed as if I had said something funny. 
After a bit I got very sad and sober. Young 
girls passed me with romance still in their eyes, 
and others, a little older, with the romance dead. 
I seemed to be looking on at a vast puppet-show, 
and I began to wonder if anybody was alive ex- 
cept myself. And then the comedy of it struck 
me, and I laughed to myself till people turned 
round to look at me, and Blanche came and asked 
me if I was ill. Of course, it was a game, and a 
good enough game, but yet to most of the people 


it was a tremendous reality, all they knew of life, 
and they would have shrieked in holy horror if I 
had told them that they represented not the last 
word in civilisation but a return to a very early 
stage of barbarism. The rough fellow clearing 
trees with an axe for his home was miles farther 
up the scale of being than they. . . . And then 
old Thirlstone drifted towards me. I daresay 
you know him, Hugh?" 

" The man who was made an Under-Secretary 
the other day ? " 

" Same fellow. I used to know him long ago 
in the Service, and he was the hardest -bitten 
devil I have ever struck. He was in Tibet with 
Alastair, and he and I once had a try at getting 
into Kafiristan. Then his uncle died, and he 
became an enormously rich peer and had to come 
home and attend to his affairs. When he first 
came back he dined with us, and Blanche had a 
lot of people to meet him. He hadn't much to 
say for himself, and everybody thought him a 
bore, except me and a few of his own kind. Well, 
he settled down and married, and got into the 
ordinary rut, and there he was, still brown in the 
face but rather tired about the eyea Blanche 
had told me he was much improved, so I knew 
what to look out for. All his roughness and 
shyness were gone, and he had the same kind of 


manner as the other monkeys, only he looked 
more wholesome. I wanted to speak to hun, so 
we found a quiet corner in the supper-room. And 
then I put it straight to him, if he liked his new 
life. He said he did, talked a lot of rot about 
doing his duty in the sphere into which it had 
pleased God to call him, and about the fun of 
being at the centre of things ; but there was not 
much conviction in his tone. So I began to tell 
him what had been happening to me, mentioned 
some places we had been together in and friends 
we had known. Soon I got him as keen as 
mustard. He dropped all his long words and 
fell into the honest slang of the backwoods. We 
had half an hour's talk of old times, and then his 
wife came in with the big boss of his party. 
You know Lady Thirlstone, I daresay. A pretty 
American with a figure and fine eyes, but neither 
complexion nor heart. Thirlstone got up to join 
them and looked at me rather sickly. * IVe got 
my wings clipped, old man,' he said. * Wish me 
joy of my gilt cage, for if I weren't a gentleman 
I'd kick it to splinters to-morrow.' " 

Somewhere in the forest a jackal barked and 
was answered from the far side of the camp. The 
fire was dying down, and a native boy came for- 
ward to heap on more logs. 

"And yet," said Hugh, "what good is the 


wanderlt^t in itself? You may have all manner 
of dreams, but you spend your strength in 
futility. I daresay Thirlstone sitting chafing in 
Pfikrliament is playing a better part in the solid 
work of the world than Thirlstone gallivanting 
about the Hindu Kush." 

" That's where you are wrong, my dear," said 
Considine. " We are the advance-guard, always 
pushing a little farther on and making the road 
easier for those who come after us, the serious 
solid fellows who make laws and create indus- 
tries, and generally reap where we have sown. 
You cannot measure the work of a pioneer by the 
scale of a bagman. We keep the fire burning, 
though we go out ourselves. Our failure is our 
success. We don't found colonies and build 
cities, but unless we had gone before no one 
would have come after." 

" Hugh," said Graham solemnly, " if you en- 
courage Teddy, he'll keep on talking like a minor 
poet till daybreak." 

" I like his minor poetry. Go on, and never 
mind that savage. You defend the adventurer 
because he keeps a nation restless?" 

" True for you. He is the electric force in * 
civilisation. Without him we should settle, like 
Moab, on our lees and rot. And you cannot 
measure him by ordinary results, because his 


work is spiritual and unworldly. Baleigh failed 
in everything he put his hand to, and went to the 
scaffold with all his schemes discredited. And 
yet he had set moving the force which was to 
make his dreams a superb reality. The pioneer 
must always be ploughed under, but only the fool 
considers him a failure. That Nietzsche fellow 
Appin was chaffing me about the other night has 
got the right end of the stick. The individual is 
tremendously important. We think of men as 
mere cog-wheels in some great machine, whose 
only value is as part of the works. Heaven forbid 
that I should deny the value of the great social 
machine in ordinary life. But there are many 
who have no share in it, and they have their 
value none the less, for, if you don't mind mixed 
metaphors, they somehow generate the motive 
power for the whole show. Take the case of 
Gordon. You may tell me that he was mad and 
a fanatic, that he ran his own head into the 
noose, that he had flaws in his character, that he 
was impossible as a colleague or a subordinate. I 
daresay that is all true, and I don't care. His 
failure and the manner of it were worth a dozen 
' successful wars and a whole regiment of impec- 
cable statesmen. It put new faith into the race, 
and screwed us up for another century. 

" Remember," Considine continued, " that indi- 


vidualism is the keynote of (mr work. I have 
seen the French business in North Africa, and 
know their methods. There the State moves 
forward as one man, and not a step is taken in 
the advance till lines are laid fi*om the base and 
the country is well held in the rear. Everything 
is centralised and officially directed. That is not 
our way. We send our younger sons out into the 
world, expressly forbid them to do things, dis- 
avow and discourage them, and then profit by 
their disobedience. As long as we have hundreds 
of young men who ask only the chance of danger, 
and are ready to take the whole world on their 
shoulders, we need have no fear for the future. 
When every one demands his price and asks to be 
shown some fair likelihood of success before he 
tackles his job, then we are morally bound to 


"My pipe is out, and I am getting sleepy. 
We've an early start before us, so I suppose we 
should compose ourselves to slumber.'' 

Soon the world was quiet, save for the occa- 
sional crackling of a log and the deep breathing 
of the sleepers. Hugh pulled the fiirs about his 
chin, and watched the red heart of the fire glowing 
in the velvet dark of the night. He floated oflF 
into vague dreams, where lion -hunts ended in 



London ball - rooms, and almost in the same 
moment it seemed to him that he was awake 
again, with the fire black and the bitter cold 
gripping at his exposed neck and shoulders. He 
Lw hi oovermj; together, and Bank into that 
light dreamless sleep which is the true luxury of 
the wilds. In another moment of time it was 
dawn, and, wide awake and re&eshed, he was 
looking at a pale morning sky from which the 
stars were fading, and hearing the cheerful sound 
of the boys making early coffee. 



The gardens at Musuru cover three thousand feet 
of a mountain-side, sloping steeply down from the 
lawns around the house to a tropical glen, where 
a brawling stream runs in thickets of palm and 
cactus. For Carey's guests it was a prescribed 
excursion to descend to the Tropics some morning, 
lunch in a summer-house, and make the best of an 
arduous return in the late afternoon. Such an 
expedition had its charm, for it was a stimulating 
adventure to climb down, as it were, in a few 
hours through many degrees of latitude, and 
witness in a brief day the scenery of twenty 
climates. But it had also its drawbacks, for in 
the morning when human energy is high the task 
was easy, and all the difficulties were reserved for 
that unhallowed season when lunch is a memory 
and tea a distant hope. So mules were provided 
for the women, and with the accompaniment of 
native muleteers and an Arab guide, the party 
assembled about eleven o'clock at the point where 


the road dipped into an avenue of cool cedars. 
Mrs Yorke, in a dress of delicate green muslin, 
carried a parasol, and sat her mule with the ease 
of one long at home in Southern placea The 
others, Marjory Haystoun, Lady Flora, and Mrs 
Deloraine, wore broad-brimmed hats and clothes 
of some serviceable linen stuff. Lady Flora re- 
fused to mount her mule, and tramped sturdily 
along with Mr Wakefield and Mr Astbury. 

The garden was a labyrinth of paths, for the 
most part shadowed with trees, but coming sud- 
denly at times to a kind of stage where the 
travellers had a wide prospect of the valley. At 
first the deep rooty fragrance of pines and cedars 
was all about them. Bhododendrons and azaleas 
formed the thicket, and there were stretches of 
mossy turf down which little streams fell in 
cascades to the forest below. Except for the 
greater heat of the sun, which the canopy of 
green scarcely averted, the road might have been 
a drive in some English park. Every now and 
then came patches of well-known English flowers, 
most of them past their first bloom, though the 
heath was still a gorgeous sheet of colour. In- 
sensibly, however, the place changed to another 
latitude. Now it was some superb Riviera 
garden, where myrtles and syringas and shrubby 
geraniums crowded on the paths. At one halt- 


ing place there was a parterre of flower-beds 
bright with a dozen species of canna and lily. 
A stream had been dammed to make a small 
hanging reservoir, where every variety of water- 
plant blossomed, and ducks of a curious burnished 
green swam among the white petals. Still they 
descended, and now the vegetation closed in, and 
instead of an avenue the path was a tunnel. 
Huge trees matted with vines and passion-flowers, 
tall forests of fern, broad-leaved wild bananas, 
and quantities of little palms, made a jungle 
which it seemed vain to hope to penetrate. 
Insect and bird life, which had been silent above, 
awoke in these regions, and the air was a-flutter 
with delicate wings. It was very hot, not the 
strong glare of the sun, but the moist warmth 
of rich vegetable life and a too generous earth. 
Mr Wakefield laboured in his tracks, the ladies 
on the mules ceased to gossip, and even Lady 
Flora looked flushed and breathless. Soon the 
noise of water rose above the hum of the forest, 
and suddenly through the blue and orange 
shadows of the trees gleamed the foam of a 
great torrent, as milk-white as any glacier 
stream. A well-made bridge of logs led across, 
and a few minutes later the party were seated 
in a little bungalow, with a floor of beaten earth, 
a thatched roof, and a shady verandah. 


The sight of a cool luncheon- table with waiting 
servants in white tunics restored the travellers 
to comfort. They found a light meal of fruit and 
cold foods, while Mr Wakefield industriously set 
about the quenching of a very respectable thirst. 
After a while he recovered his composure, and 
had leisure to regard his companions. 

" * If these things be done in the green tree/ " 
he said, " * what shall be done in the dry ? ' If 
I am out of breath coming downhill, how on earth 
am I to get up again ? I have never understood 
why an all-wise Providence created the Tropics. 
They are full of noxious animals; their climate 
embitters life and is apt to end it prematurely." 

Astbury, squarely built, fair- haired and ruddy, 
was also ill fitted for violent exercise in hot 
climates. A noted athlete and a mountaineer 
of high reputation, he could endure extremes 
of cold and exhaustion and only find his energy 
quickened, but in the Tropics he was apt to lose 
his restless activity and become an idle and good- 
humoured spectator of life. 

" I want to know the answer to that question, 
too," he said. "What does the white man get 
from the Tropics? His strenuousness goes out 
of him, and he becomes a heavy-eyed cumberer 
of the ground. At Musuru I am always thinking 
about reforming the world, while down in this 


place the world can go to pieces for all I care. 
What do we get from living among palm-trees 
and gorgeous colours in the atmosphere of a 
Turkish bath ? " 

" Nothing," said Mr Wakefield. " The Tropics 
are a purgatory appointed by Heaven for the 
purging of our immortal souls. They are a 
sphere of duty in which for their sins many 
honest men are compelled to labour — nothing 
more ! " 

" I wonder if women are more Oriental than 
men?" it was Marjory who spoke. "Because, 
you know, all this makes me happy. I seem to 
get the creases out of my soul in this hot sun 
and this glory of flowers. In what people call 
strenuous weather I would much rather stay in 
bed. But to-day one really believes that veins 
of fire run through the earth, and that nothing is 
dead, not even the rocks. One feels the world 
so much bigger and fuller and richer and more 
mysterious. Don't you think so, Barbara ? " 

Mrs Deloraine, who had been gazing at a huge 
bouquet of orchids presented to her by one of the 
servants, lifted an abstracted eye. 

"What an intoxication colour isl" she mur- 
mured. "Look at these scarlet bells and that 
great purple chalice. I had no idea such depth 
of richness could be found in the world Our 


senses are starved in the north, with nothing 
but dean thin scents around us and pale rain- 
washed greys and blues. There is no passion 
in our Nature, for it is all too well subordinated 
to the needs of man. But here we have a world 
which has no thought of humanity. These scarlet 
blossoms flame for other than mortal eyes. You 
cannot think of Pan in one of our hazel thickets 
— the thought is almost indecent. But I can 
well imagine his slanted eyes looking out from 
behind that tangle of vines." 

**I, too, feel that," said Mrs Yorke. *'In the 
North the life-force in the earth is enough for our 
needs and no more, but here there is a generous 
overflow. I feel as if life were longer and kinder 
and easier, but also that I matter less in the 
scheme of things than I thought. I am a little 
home-sick, too, for I am a daughter of the South, 
and the hot air brings back my childhood." Mrs 
Yorke sighed with a tender melancholy. 

'^I feel the wickedness more than the kind- 
ness," said Mrs Deloraine. ''It is an unmoral 
world, this warm-scented place, and there is a 
shrieking cruelty behind the splendour. Natura 
Maligna and Natura Benigna have walked hand 
in hand in these glens. Look at the flowers I 
No Wordsworth could read any lesson of peace 
in them." 


Lady flora arose and examined the bouquet ; 
then, selecting a huge purple blossom, she 
fastened it in Mr Wakefield's coat. She walked 
a few steps back and surveyed her handiwork. 

"I want you to look wicked, Mr Wakefield, 
but it's quite impossible. You only look 
benevolent and embarrassed. Barbara, you may 
wear orchids if you please, for I think you are 
the only one of us who could stand them. Letty 
would look a sorceress at once, and Marjory is one 
without them." 

Astbury had wandered to the door and was 
looking up the steep slopes of greenery they had 

"What a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk business it 
is, and how little one would imagine a place like 
Musuru atop of it all ! I think Miss Haystoun 
is right, and that the Tropics should increase 
our vitality, but we must be very vital beings 
to begin with. A hot sun or a keen fi:ost will 
make a strong man stronger, but they will kill a 
weakling. So with the Tropics in my view. An 
eager fellow can live in them for years and be 
none the worse, but your waster dies. That is 
why a lean sandy-haired Scot is perfectly happy 
in West Africa, while a Portuguese sickens at 
once, though the one is a Northerner and the 
other a Latin. In my case, the Tropics make 


me sleepy, and I don't mind admitting it. But 
they also fill me with a vast bovine contentment, 
which I suppose is a kind of condensed and 
stored vitality. They are the only really rest- 
ful places in the world, for you feel that your life 
is such a speck on the great wheel of things. 
I remember after the Boer War coming home by 
the East Coast in a cargo-boat and landing at 
a little port called Inhambane. There was a 
long sweep of white sand, a line of green palms, 
and a lot of whitewashed, green - shuttered, 
thatched houses in groves of bananas. I was 
rowed up a little river among quiet villages 
under palm-trees, where the people always 
seemed to be chanting a low, slow Arab song. 
It was very hot, and I lay comfortably in the 
stem, watching the oily current and the black 
arms of the rowers and the snow-white gown of 
the steersman and the deep blue sky between 
the feathery tops of the palms. And then I 
sank for two heavenly hours into Nirwana. I 
had never been to Nirwana before, but now I 
badly want to go back again. In London my 
working-rooms face on a dingy grey street with 
a mouldy old cab-horse standing at the comer. 
Sometimes, when I look out, that river at Inham- 
bane comes over me so badly that I hardly know 
what to do. For, if you once get the Tropics 


into your blood, however much you may hate 
'em and disapprove of 'em, you can't forget 'em. 
And some day you will go back." 

Marjory, swinging lazily in a low wicker chair, 
announced her agreement. " I am of the belief 
of the old sailor who said nothing was impossible 
' south'ard o' the line.' Your horizon is far wider 
and you live in touch with the great elementary 
things. Barbara, I am going to repeat some 
verses you once wrote. Listen, everybody : — 

' In the ancient orderly places, with a blank and orderly mind, 
We sit in our green walled gardens and our com and oil 
Sunset nor dawn can wake us, for the face of the heavens is 
We light our taper at even and call our comfort peace. 

Peaceful our clear horizon, calm as our sheltered days 

Are the lilied meadows we dwell in, the decent highways 
we tread. 
Duly we make our o£ferings, but we know not the Qod we 
For He is the Ood of the living, but we. His children, are 

I will arise and get me beyond this country of dreams, 

Where all is ancient and ordered and hoar with the frost 
of years, 
To the land where loftier mountains cradle their wilder 
And the fruitful earth is blessed with more bountiful smiles 
and tears, — 


There in the home of the lightnings, where the fear of the 
Lord is set free, 
Where the thunderous midnights fade to the turquoise 
magic of mom, 
The days of man are a vapour, blown from a shoreless sea, 
A little cloud before sunrise, a cry in the void forlorn — 

I am weary of men and cities and the service of little things. 

Where the flamelike glories of life are shrunk to a candle's 


Smite me, my God, with Thy presence, blind my eyes with 

Thy wings. 

In the heart of Thy virgin earth show me Thy secret 



The verses were received with a murmur of 
approval by Mrs Yorke and Mr Astbury. Mr 
Wakefield contented himself with observing that 
he was glad there was some one to say a good 
word for the Tropics, but that personally he 
should be unhappy till he was back at Musuru. 
As the afternoon had grown cooler a start was 
made, which was a little delayed by an attempt 
on the part of Lady Flora to explore with her 
mule a track which led down to the edge of 
the stream. The result was that she could 
not turn her animal, which had to be towed 
back ignominiously by the whole staff of the 

The ascent proved less arduous than had been 
expected. Mrs Yorke, stricken with humani- 


tarian feelings, declined to burden her mule, and 
in the company of Lady Flora walked gallantly 
up the steepest part, with the face which her 
ancestors may have worn when they rolled the 
tea-chests into Boston harbour. As the air grew 
colder and pines and cedars reappeared, comfort 
descended once more on the party, and even Mr 
Wakefield ceased to puff. The scent of heath 
was so homely that the experiences of the day 
were forgotten, and each felt as if the walk had 
lain through some English wood with a con- 
ventional country-house to return to. But on 
emerging on the lawn firom the long avenue the 
sudden sight of Musuru brought all to a halt. 
The glow of sunset was on the white walls, and 
the whole had the airy perfection of a house seen 
in a dream. 

" What a place to stumble upon by accident ! " 
exclaimed Mr Astbury. "Imagine a party of 
hunters who knew nothing about it and believed 
they were in the depths of savagery ! Suddenly, 
climbing this long hill, they come on walks and 
flower-gardens. They think they are going mad, 
and look down at their dirty, torn clothes to 
reassure themselves. And then they reach the 
top and come in sight of the house. It would 
take a long time to persuade them that it was 
not an Aladdin's palace." 


" Enter the party," said Lady Flora, pointing 
to three riders and a regiment of boys who had 
halted at the far side of the lawn. Presently 
three sunburnt men had joined the rest, and 
were assailed with inquiries, whose makers, like 
Pilate, did not stay for an answer. 

" What sport ? " Lady Flora asked Hugh. 

" Grood. Fifteen head of buck and two lions. 
I got one and Akhub the other, but I was 
chivvied by both. And you? Did you find 
Melissinde ? " 

" No. She doesn't live in the valley. We've 
been all day in the Tropics listening to Barbara s 
poetry. I want to see your lions, and you've got 
to give me a skin. Since you broke our compact 
you must pay toll, you know." 

It was a milder evening than had yet been 
enjoyed at Musuru, and after dinner the party 
sat in the inner hall watching a young moon 
climbing that immense arch of sky which is only 
given by a hill-top prospect. 

"I feel as if I were in a lighthouse," Lady 
Warcliff said, with an air which invited con- 
tradiction. "I almost expect to hear the horn 
of some great ship down below in the fog. If 
only each hot country had been given a habitable 
mountain, they would be the only places in the 


world to live in. On the ordinary upland you 
dominate the flat country because you are higher 
up, but here we also look down on the plain 
because we are wholesome and cool and sane and 
they are fevered. We are a lighthouse to the 
whole of Equatoria, and if there were fifty other 
lighthouses in the Empire there would be no 
tropical problem." 

Lady Flora and Hugh had discovered a small 
couch out of the area of both firelight and lamp- 
light and close to the windows, which were lit 
from without by the pale glimmer of the moon. 
Here they had a vantage-ground for seeing the 
faces of the others. 

" I do so wish," whispered the girl, " that they 
wouldn't all talk in paragraphs. Either let them 
chatter in a friendly way or let Mr Carey or 
Lord Appin say all that has got to be said 

" Hush," said Hugh, for Carey from the fire- 
place was beginning to speak. 

" So far," he said, " we have discussed the 
relation of Imperialism to current politics at 
home. We have looked, too, at the essential 
features of the new constitution which must some 
day take the place of the old. And now we 
come to the details of administration, and the 
first and greatest of these problems is that of 


our tropical dependencies. For whatever the 
development of the free Colonies, they can never 
share in it. The central executive of the Empire 
will change its character, but it can never change 
its task. The direct responsibility for tropical 
administration will always rest with it. The 
burden of the Tropics can never be shared with 
local and responsible legislatures; for they can 
never be wholly settled by the white man, but 
must remain largely in the hands of races for 
whom autonomy is unthinkable, at any rate for 
the next century or two. 

" If that is so, clearly the Tropics will fiirnish 
all the administrative problems which are not 
concerned with the common services of the 
Empire. The work of our imperial executive 
will be the joint problems of the whole Empire 
plus the day-to-day administration of our tropical 
dependencies in Asia, Africa, and America. This 
last will be no light business, and must be taken 
seriously. I am not a great believer in the cant 
of expert knowledge in politics. EflSciency is apt 
to be either a meaningless catchword or a stupid 
worship of professionalism. But our tropical 
administration must be based on expert know- 
ledge, for in our everyday life in Europe we 
have no experience, no inherited body of ideas, 
which is in any way applicable. It is a thing by 


itself, governed by other rules than those which 
sway popular government. 

" We have already decided that it will be the 
test of the capacity of democracy for empire if it 
can accept the abrogation of its claim over some 
part of the territory under its control and trust 
its servants. I do not believe that democracy 
will be found wanting. The danger, to my mind, 
is far more that its trusted servants may be 
inadequate to the task. For it is above all 
things work which demands a clear eye and 
a steady head, and in which supineness and 
pedantry will spell disaster. The great adminis- 
trative questions of the future will be tropical 
questions. The Tropics will be the training- 
ground of our great oflScials. It is high time, 
therefore, that we tried to get at some scientific 
understanding of our responsibilities. If expert 
knowledge and not a mere handful of moral 
platitudes is to be our guide, we must take steps 
to systematise and develop that knowledge. 

" We are not without precedents. Both France 
and Germany have set the example in founding 
schools of what they call "colonial science." 
And four centuries ago our own Hakluyt urged 
something of the same kind. The risk is that 
we allow ourselves to be misled by the case of 
India, where we have made a great success by 


a kind of accident. We send out raw boys to 
that service, and in a year or two they are 
efficient administrators. Yes, but the same rule 
will not hold everywhere. India is a long-settled 
country, which runs by herself. We control, 
amend here and there, give her the benefit of 
our protection, but we do not really interfere. 
The social machine in its essentials is inde- 
pendent of us. It is quite a different matter 
in lands where the fabric of civilisation has to 
be built up from the beginning. There you 
have no rules to go by, except your own 
wits; and knowledge is the only dividing line 
between success and failure. We must take 
up the business very seriously, and equip our- 
selves resolutely for the work. I do not propose 
to weary you with suggestions, for it is no part 
of our programme to burrow among details. But 
two points I would insist upon. The first is, 
that we must take steps to give our people the 
best possible training for the work they are 
going to. I want to see imperial colleges 
established where young men will be taught 
tropical medicine, and surveying, and natural 
history and ethnology, where, in a word, the 
long experience of the Empire will be con- 
centrated into precepts. And the second is, 
that we must provide for reciprocity between 


the home and the foreign services, so that the 
man in the Colonial or the Foreign OflSce may 
have first-hand experience of his own to guide 
him, and the man at the outposts may know 
the ways of the home office, and may keep in 
touch with home politics. At present the two 
branches are cursed with a confusion of tongues, 
and speak a different language, though they may 
mean the same thing. A boy who goes into the 
civil service in England would under my scheme 
go out automatically in five years to a minor 
post in some dependency, and return after some 
years of service to a higher post at home. By 
this means our governors and our permanent 
secretaries would be of the same class, with 
the same training, each sympathising with and 
understanding the other's work. There would 
be some kind of solidarity in imperial adminis- 
tration, and when the wheels go smoothly they 
go faster and farther." 

Lord Appin had joined the group at the 
window, and was gently pinching Lady Flora's 

"You know the Tropics, Francis," he said. 
"I don't suppose there is any hot country on 
earth you haven't been to. Tell me, are they 
ever going to change their character? Will 
white men and women ever be able to live in 


them in reasonable comfort? Or are they to 
be a permanent Purgatory to which we resort 
for our souls' good?" 

" We discussed that question at lunch to-day," 
said Lady Flora. **Mr Wakefield said they 
were merely Purgatory, but most of us thought 
them more like the Garden of Eden. They 
make Barbara and Letty feel wicked, and Mr 
Astbury sleepy, and they make me very, very 

" Well, what do you propose to do with them, 
Francis?" said Lord Appin again. "Are they 
to be a kind of Botany Bay for penitential souls, 
or, in your own words, are they some day to 
blossom as the rose?" 

Carey smiled. "I think Alastair and Sir 
Edward are the best authorities," he said. 
"We will ask them what they think. My 
own opinion is, that we can improve them all, 
even the worst parts, up to a certain point. 
That is to say, we can make them habitable 
by white men and women for a year or two 
at a stretch. But that is not efnough to secure 
continuity in development, and here is where 
the doctrine of the vantage-grounds appears, 
which Sir Edward was explaining to me the 
other morning. Teddy, expound, please." 

That gentleman rose courageously from a long 


arm-chair where he had been stretching legs 
wearied with the da/s riding. Leaning against 
the mantelpiece, somewhat in the fashion of a 
giraffe against a palm-tree, he embarked on his 

"I was much struck by what Lady Warcliff 
said after dinner to-night. She wanted a light- 
house like Musuru in every tropical colony, and 
she said that if you had such a thing their 
problems would be settled. Well, I mean the 
same thing, only I call it a vantage-ground 
instead of a lighthouse. We needn't trouble 
about the seaside strips of land, because either 
they are swamps and don't matter much, or the 
sea winds make them fairly healthy. We can 
also leave India out. It is fully developed, and 
we know exactly how much it takes out of 
the white man to plant him there. What I 
want to say concerns Africa mainly, since it 
is here that we have the great undeveloped 
speculative dependencies. 

"Let us call our possessions in Africa four — 
north, east, west, and south. The first gives us 
Egypt and the Sudan hinterland up to Grondokoro ; 
the second is the coast around Mombasa, this 
plateau, and the trough of Equatoria ; West 
Afirica is the coast around the Gulf of Guinea 
and the hinterland of Nigeria ; South Africa is 


everything from Lake Nyasa and the Congo to 
the Cape. Now some of these are white men's 
countries, and in time are going to be colonies. 
Some day we shall have the federation of South 
Africa, and then the lowlands around the Zam- 
besi — what we call North-west and North-east 
Rhodesia and Nyasaland — will fall to be admin- 
istered by the federal government. So, also, we 
shall have the free colony of East Africa, with 
its capital on this plateau, administering the low- 
lands west and east of it. That is one possible 
development. The other is that the colonies 
occupy only the healthy country and leave the 
lowlands as dependencies under the central ex- 
ecutive. It doesn't particularly matter to my 
argument what is going to happen. The point 
is that wherever you have an unhealthy tropical 
tract you have somewhere in the near neighbour- 
hood a patch of white man's country. 

" I expect you can all see a sort of map in your 
mind. Well, first of all, in South Africa we 
have high veld from the Cape to within a 
hundred miles of the Zambesi, and round the 
eastern coast we have the line of the Drakens- 
berg running from Cape Colony right up to 
Manicaland, so that we are never far from 
healthy country. In Nyasaland we have the 
Shir^ Highlands, and in Barotseland we have 


long stretches of pasture, with bracken and 
hazels like England. I've hunted there, and 
seen it with my own eyes. In East Africa we 
have this gorgeous plateau as the vantage- 
ground for the coast strip and for Uganda. In 
North Africa we have Egypt as the vantage- 
ground for the Sudan. It is not an upland, but 
it is a place where Europeans can live and work 
happily for years. In West Africa we have 
nothing quite so good. But in a little while, 
when we have railways and better roads, and 
can house and feed our people better, there is no 
reason why all the Nigerian uplands should not 
be at least as healthy as the better parts of 
India, if we except the hill stations." 

" But the presence of a few wholesome square 
miles in a territory will not prevent people from 
sickening in the rest," said Mr Wakefield. 

" No, but it will give them a place to rest and 
recover in. Tropical administration must be 
spasmodic — we must make up our minds for 
that. But it need not be too spasmodic. If 
the land is to be properly governed, and any 
policy carried through to a finish, you must have 
the same oflScials resident in the country for a 
fair length of time. And, more important still, 
you must see that they retain the mental and 
bodily vigour which is necessary for all good 


work. Now these vantage-grounds of ours will 
enable us to secure this. By a merciful fate we 
have been permitted to bag all the most habitable 
parts of Africa. We have the great hot flats, 
where life is hard, but where, if some kind of 
civilisation is to penetrate, it must be through 
Englishmen who live and work there. And next 
door we have the health resorts where these 
Englishmen can go when their vitality ebbs and 
lay in a fresh supply, and where the greater 
administrative problems can be thought out. 
They will be what Simla is to India, the work- 
shop of government. They are near enough to 
be within hail of the lowlands, but they are in 
another climate, and give a tired man the moral 
and physical tonic he needs." 

"Allah has indeed been merciful," said Lord 
Appin. **But, my dear Teddy, your vantage- 
grounds will not settle the problem of the Tropics. 
You have to find the race of men who will tolerate 
your regime of alternate sickness and health. 
The average oflScial will sigh too continually for 
the fleshpots of the vantage-grounds, and instead 
of carrying back with him to his station a fresh 
supply of force he will carry only an unsettled 

** Maybe. But he will be more unsettled if he 
has to go home, seedy, every eighteen months or 


SO, and can never have his wife and family out. 
I assume that the men will be keen on their job. 
And this assumption is allowable, for the Tropics 
have a tremendous fascination of their own. It is 
only the loneliness which scares a man. If he 
had a chance of seeing his kind oftener, and 
keeping more in touch with civilisation, he would 
have little fault to find with his life. I have met 
scores of them, and a fellow has to be very stupid 
if he does not feel the romance of making a new 
country. In time he gets the place into his 
bones, and the danger then is not of his losing 
heart in his work, but his losing all interest in 
home. We must keep both fires alight, other- 
wise we become either like the Portuguese who 
forgot Portugal, or like certain French colonists 
who remember the boulevards all too clearly." 

" I wonder how good a judge you are, Teddy," 
said Lord Appin. " You like the wilds, I know ; 
but is it not rather in the way that the ordinary 
city man tolerates the discomfort of his Scotch 
shooting-box? He feels a certain pleasure in 
the sensation, because he knows it will not last 
long. But he would be a very sad man if he 
had to make a lifetime of it. You go off for a 
year or two, and enjoy yourself immensely, but 
I wonder how much of the enjoyment comes from 
the knowledge that you have always Hill Street 


and Considine Abbey behind you somewhere, 
awaiting your return ? " 

*'I suppose I shall never make you under- 
stand," said Sir Edward dolefully. " Best ask 

" Oh, Francis follows the simple expedient of 
turning the wilds into something much more 
delectable than England. He has no right to 

" I won't argue," said Carey, " because the 
point is unarguable. Also Mrs Deloraine is 
going to sing. But I live in hopes of convert- 
ing Lord Appin to barbarism. After all a meta- 
physician should be an adventurer." 

Mrs Deloraine had gone to the piano and was 
playing the opening chords of a Schumann air. 
To her Lady Flora fluttered like a moth to a 
candle, music having charms for her which were 
at no time to be resisted. Lord Appin had sud- 
denly discovered a new Louis Quinze cabinet, 
and was devouring it with the keen eye of 
the collector. Hugh drifted into the nearest 
drawing-room, where he found the Duchess, and 
was impounded for a game of cribbage, a taste 
for which had always marked the noble house 
whose name she bore. 

" So far," she said, " the Tropics are the least 
exhausting subject we have discussed. I suppose 


it is because we are in them and know so much 
by instinct that we can afford to leave most of 
the platitudes unsaid. I thought Francis and 
Sir Edward talked very good sense. But, you 
know, they only gave us the rudiments of their 
real opinions. Both of them want to make us 
all have houses on these vantage-grounds, as 
they call them, and live part of the year there, 
and regard them as much our home as England. 
Sir Edward preached me a long sermon about it 
last year, just after George had taken a new 
forest in Scotland. He wanted to know why he 
didn't go farther afield, to some part of the 
Empire, and set a good example. He said that 
only one profession was left for our class — to be 
the pioneers of a wider patriotism. I suppose he 
was right. But I am old-fashioned, and I cannot 
quite imagine myself an imperial lady. Till travel 
becomes easier I would rather stay at home most 
of my time, for running about the world, as 
Francis does, is wearing to a woman. I am 
middle-aged, and have very little vanity left, 
but I would rather remain as I am. I can see 
Sir Edward's imperial lady. She will have no 
complexion, her voice will be rather high, and 
her eyes always a little too bright. Not a very 
comforting creature to live with ! " 

" You prefer Lady Considine ? " Hugh asked. 


*'No, indeed. I don't defend Blanche. Per- 
haps when we have reached a further stage of 
development women will be able to live up and 
down the world and yet keep their restfulness. 
But at present the nomad woman is still some- 
thing of an excrescence. She is a * sport/ out- 
side our normal development, and therefore high- 
coloured and shrill. As for Blanche, she is a 
relic, marooned long ago on a little island of her 
own. Is she a friend of yours, Mr Somerville ? " 

" No. She asks me to dinner, but I don't often 
go, unless Teddy is at home. When I talk to her 
I never know whether to think her a doll or a 
vast and terrible eider-down quilt smothering the 

" And yet, if you had seen her ten years ago, 
you could not have escaped falling in love with 
her. Everybody did, even George, who is as 
blind as an owl to female beauty. She was the 
most exquisite girl I have ever seen. With her 
bright hair and melting eyes she floated through 
a room like a creature from another world. No 
one knew that she was stupid, for her face mes- 
merised everybody, even women. Sir Edward 
was the great parti of his time, and she naturally 
married him. Happily they are both miracles of 
good -humour, so they put up with each other 
fairly well. But they haven't an idea or a taste 



in common. She would like him to stay at home 
and get into the Cabinet, and give great parties 
at Considine, and generally move in the sphere 
of life where she is conscious of shining. He 
considers that Abana and Pharpar, rivers of 
Damascus, are better than all the waters of 
Israel. I used to think her a fool, but I am 
not so dogmatic now. She is intensely clever 
in her own way— an eider-down quUt, as you 
justly remarked. If Sir Edward were not a born 
Esau she would have smothered him long ago. 
Her whole life is one devout prostration before 
conventional shrines, with her orthodox opinions, 
her soft downcast eyes, her gentle voice, her 
elaborate and extravagant prettiness. If that 
marriage was made in heaven, the gods were in 
a comic mood. And yet they love each other 
after a fashion." 

" Who love each other ? " said Lady Flora, 
bearing down upon the cribbage- players like a 
privateer on harmless merchantmen. " I hope 
you mean Mr Wakefield and me, for I am going 
to propose to him to-morrow." 

" I trust he won't accept you, my dear," said 
the Duchess, " for he will go to prison for bigamy 
if he does. He is married already — to an enor- 
mous American." 

The girl sank upon the couch. *' I never loved 



a dear gazelle," she began, when the gazelle in 
question appeared in the offing. 

" To-morrow," said Mr Wakefield, in the tone 
of a dying gladiator, " we are going down to the 
lake and are going to cross in Carey's steam- 
launch. We are not to be allowed to content 
ourselves with theorising about the Tropics, but 
are to make practical experiments in them. The 
only consolation is that we shall get our mail at 
Port Florence. I am charged to say that the 
outgoing post leaves first thing in the morning, 
and that everybody must have their letters 
ready to-night." 




About noon of the following day the party 
found themselves shepherded on board a trim 
little vessel which lay moored a hundred yards 
from the jetty of Port Florence. Thick awnings 
warded off the sun ; the deck, with its white 
wood and gleaming brass, was as trim as the 
parlour of a Dutch housewife; a light breeze 
ruflSed the blue water and fluttered among the 
feathery palm -leaves on the shore. Steam had 
been got up, and five minutes after embarking 
they were gliding through the hot shallows to 
the mouth of the bay. The sound of ship's bells 
and the airy freshness of the deck delighted the 
guests with a mingled sense of homeliness and 
strangeness. The arrival of a large English mail 
provided abundant occupation for, at any rate, 
the early hours of the voyage. 

The women wore the lightest of gowns and 
the men were in flannels. Lady Warcliff, as the 
daughter of an admiral, assumed a proprietary 


air when her feet trod a deck, though she was a 
bad sailor and abhorred the sea. Faithfiil to her 
duty, she carried off Carey on a tour of inspec- 
tion, leaving her letters at the mercy of any 
vagrant wind which cared to bear them to the 
fishes of Lake Victoria. The Duchess, in a deck- 
chair, opened her correspondence with the rapidity 
of a conjuror, and distributed fragments of infor- 
mation to Lady Flora and Mrs Wilbraham, who, 
having had small mails, were busy with a bundle 
of home papers. 

" George is in Scotland. He says the weather 
is dreadful, and that he has had nothing from 
the river but three small grilse. How vexa- 
tious ! I know exactly what will happen. 
He will get no more, and then he'll spend the 
whole winter doing calculations how many 
hundreds these grilse cost him a pound. . . . 
Pamela has gone to Ireland with Mary Daventer. 
Flora, I wonder what mischief your mother 
will do there? She is much too theatrical to 
be allowed to dabble in politics, for she would 
turn a parish council into a Guy Fawkes conspir- 
acy. . . . Eve Nottingham has written a book, 
purporting to be the letters of a Japanese wife 
to her English mother-in-law. What will that 
silly woman be after next ? She has never been 
outside Europe, so she picks out Japan for her 


theme. She might as well write the letters of 
a Coptic greengrocer to his Abyssinian grand- 
mother. I suppose it will be the usual erotic 
outpouring, which the newspapers will call * in- 
timate' and 'poignant/ and well-brought-up 
girls won't be allowed to read. . . . The Prime 
Minister has made a good speech about either 
criminal aliens or Jerusalem artichokes — I can- 
not read Georgiana's writing, — and Violet Hex- 
ham is going to marry her chauffeur. Really, 
English news is very tiresome. How glad I 
am to be in Central Africa instead of at 
Cowes I " 

Mrs Wilbraham arose with an air of tragedy, 
sombrely brandishing * The Times.' " A disaster 
of the first magnitude has befallen the Empire ! 
Sir Herbert Jupp has made a speech." 

*' Where did the horrid affair take place ? " 
Lord Appin asked. 

"At the annual dinner of the Amalgamated 
Society of South African Operators' Benevolent 
Fund, when Sir Herbert was the guest of the 
evening. He said — I quote * The Times ' — that 
*we had suffered too long from the tyranny of 
the foreigner, and that it was high time we 
began to get a little of our own back. The 
Mother must summon her children around her 
knees and grapple them to her with hooks of 


steel ' (it sounds as if the children were going 
to have a lively time of it). * Against a united 
empire/ says Sir Herbert, * no powers of dark- 
ness can prevail. We fling back the jealousy 
and hate of the globe in its teeth, content with 
the affection of our own kinsfolk. We have 
truckled top long before the insolence of Europe. 
Let the Island Race show a haughty front to the 
world, remembering its God-given mission and 
its immortal destiny. If the Lord be for us 
who can be against us ! ' What a crusader 1 
I did not think Master Shallow had been a 
man of this mettle ! " 

Lady Flora had been reading a Liberal paper. 
"Here's another man who appeals to high 
Heaven. On Friday, August 2, in the Ber- 
mondsey Tabernacle, the Reverend Doctor Price- 
Morgan delivered what this paper calls an 
* electric appeal, instinct with a certain fine 
quality.' I see that he describes the Empire as 
a ' blood-stained monument of human folly,' and 
he calls imperialists men 'without conscience, 
without honour, without patriotism, without 
God.' I hope you recognise your portrait, Sir 
Edward. ' Let us,' he says, * destroy the ac- 
cursed thing and return to the old simple paths 
whence we strayed.' Can he mean Elizabethan 
piracy? He concludes nobly with *A nation 


without a conscience is like a man groping in 
the dark on the verge of a precipice.' Will 
somebody explain to me about the Noncon- 
formist Conscience ? ** 

"The Nonconformist Conscience, my dear," 
said Lord Appin, " is too big a thing to be de- 
fined casually at mid-day on a tropical lake. 
It is the name which most people give to the 
particular national failing fi:om which they 
happen to be exempt. Under its shade the 
militant freethinker and the gentle pietist lie 
down like lambs together. Very often it has 
nothing to do with conscience. Certain people 
choose to defend certain things in which they 
believe by appealing to morals and religion, 
when the real reason of their belief is some- 
thing quite different. In these cases it is a 
mannerism of speech rather than of thought. 
With many it is a condemnation of certain 
gross and robust shortcomings to which they 
are not inclined, by means of which they dis- 
tract attention from their own less masculine 
vices of lying, dishonesty, and cowardice. With 
those of a particular religious persuasion it can 
best be described, I think, as the homage which 
a feeble present pays to a strong past. At one 
time with Nonconformists rested the liberties 
of England, and nobly they fought the battle. 


Their lives were one long protest against wicked- 
ness and folly in high places. But the times 
passed, and our own day of easy tolerance 
dawned, when the only disability which Dissent 
has to endure is a social one and the worst 
accusation brought against it is vulgarity. But 
the honest fellows still maintain their air of 
shrill protest and unwearying dissidence. The 
burning wrongs of their forefathers, which were 
also the wrongs of England, have become petty 
discomforts which it requires an acute mind to 
discover, but the rhetoric is as vivid as ever. 
The attitude may seem an anachronism and a 
parody, but I prefer to look kindly upon it as a 
belated concession to romance. It is the tribute 
of the prosperous middle-class, seeking to make 
the best of both worlds, to the grim Ironside 
and Anabaptist who relinquished all to win the 
Kingdom of Heaven." 

"Why not call it hypocrisy?" said Mrs 
Wilbraham. " It is precisely the quality which 
makes us the contempt of our European neigh- 
bours — an austere creed with a practice limp- 
ing far in the rear." 

" Because," said Lord Appin, " no summary 
definition does justice to so complex a trait. 
It is the old desire to make an omelette with- 
out breaking eggs, and the curious thing is 


that we can discern in it both a firm intention 
to make the omelette at any cost and a sincere 
conviction that it is infamous to sacrifice a single 
egg in the process. Were both feelings equally 
strong we should be in a perpetual state of sus- 
pended animation. Only the inborn practicality 
of our race puts the weight on the former, and 
so — under protest — we advance. Till we learn 
to think clearly we shall always have the con- 
flict between the two, yet till our vitality 
perishes the first will always carry the day." 

Lord Launceston had come aft from watching 
the shore of the bay through a field-glass and 
had found a seat beside the Duchess. 

"I differ," he said, "in rating most highly 
the confused moral instinct which you condemn. 
However illogical, however vexatious in its effects, 
I would not for worlds see it disappear from our 
national life. There may be hypocrisy in it, but 
there is also a tremendous reality. It is a con- 
cession not so much to tradition as to eternal 
principles of conduct, and in its essence it is not 
nonconformist but conformist. It is the force of 
social persistence, which counteracts the extra- 
vagant flights of our national energy. The result 
is that any new movement is compelled to carry 
with it this heavy ballast before it can succeed, 
and originality is made safe and practical. It 



is the underlying earnestness of the country, 
which, because it believes enormously in its creed, 
is conservative and eager to repel assaults. Eng- 
land is in consequence slow to convince; but 
once convinced, she moves with unique impetus, 
just as a strong stream may take longer to divert 
into a new channel than a rill, but when diverted 
is a far greater force at command." 

" What value can there be in the attitude of 
some canting rascal of an employer who grinds 
down his workpeople and protests piously all the 
while against what he calls 'servile conditions' 
of labour in some other place ? " Sir Edward sat 
on the bulwarks with a broad Panama hat on 
his head and a cigar in his mouth, his air sug- 
gestive of anything but nonconformity or con- 

" No value in the man, who will certainly lose 
his soul, but much in what he stands for. The 
mere fact that a rogue pretends to a conviction 
is a sign that there is a preponderating majority 
of honest men who sincerely hold it. Cancel all 
the hypocrisy, and you will still find an immense 
de€J of sound moral instinct. I grant you it is 
often wrong, hopelessly wrong ; but the instinct 
is right, it is only the application that is faulty. 
The remedy is to educate and persuade, not to 
sneer and override. The truth will always 


prevail, if we can only put it with sufficient 

Lady Amysfort's eyebrows had gone up during 
these words. "Is Saul also among the pro- 
phets?" she asked in that cool voice with the 
tinkle of ice in it, which was the despair of her 
enemies. " I little thought I should live to hear 
Lord Launceston defend Nonconformist ethics. 
To me the notion that any conviction must be 
respected merely because it happens to be honest 
is one of the many Whig superstitions that have 
been long ago exploded. Another is that you 
cannot kill a heresy by persecution, but must 
only encourage it. The truth is that you can 
stamp out a heresy for ever if you persecute it 
with sufficient vigour, provided it has none of the 
stuff of life in it. And equally our business is to 
ignore utterly convictions, however honest, unless 
they happen to be also intelligent. I am bound 
to say that in my researches in the dark place 
of Dissent I have rarely found the conjunction." 

Lord Launceston laughed. " You give away 
your case, Caroline, by admitting that the heresy 
you are going to stamp out must not have the 
stuff of life in it. I agree. Crush out all the 
trumpery crazes as relentlessly as you please. 
Only beware of a living conviction, for it will be 
too much for you. I am wholly against the 


childishness that would flatter and cringe before 
fads which should be knocked on the head. All 
the more reason, therefore, why one should be 
respectful to the things that matter. If you 
were faithful to your Tory principles, you would 
recognise in this ' conscience ' one of the abiding 
instincts of our race, which statesmanship, on 
your own admission, must reckon with. A very 
good working test, whether a conviction is living 
or not, is the number of people who share it. 
It is not an infallible rule, but if you find any 
large proportion of reasonable average men hold- 
ing a view, it is worth while taking it seriously. 
And remember that this much criticised moral 
anxiety is a weapon which may be used on our 
own side. If your opponent has a sharp sword, 
it is wiser to annex it for your own use than to 
destroy it. Our business is to enlist this moral 
fervour on behalf of what we regard as truth 
and righteousness." 

The luncheon - bell began to ring as Lord 
Launceston ceased speaking. As the heat of 
the sun was now very great, the afternoon found 
the company indisposed to exertion, physical or 
mental, and inclined to long deck-chairs in the 
shade and the lightest of romances. Towards 
five o'clock, however, there was a general awak- 
ening when it became clear that the yacht was 


approaching the farther shore. Lady Warcliff 
sat in the bows with a Zeiss glass, staring with 
eagle eye, like Cortes, at a wooded hill which 
began to loom out of the haze. A crowd of land 
birds — flamingoes, cranes, herons, and brilliant- 
backed ducks — played the part of sea-gulls, and 
thronged around the yacht. Land odours, chiefly 
the smell of wood-smoke, were drifted out to the 

Carey, who had disappeared all afternoon on 
some private business, now came on deck and 
stood by the bulwarks looking at the sunset. 
Hugh joined him, and together they watched 
the riot of crimson and saffron in the sky kindle 
the olive-green forests till the tree-tops glowed 
like jewels. The marshes which fringed the lake 
were caught up into the pageant and smouldered 

with rt.^ge^ of tawny U- 

Carey drew a long breath. "It is Antony's 

dream come true," he said. " See, there are all 

the elements — the fantastic clouds, 

' The forked mountain and blue promontory.' 

Look, now, for you will see the colours wiped 
clean out of the world as the sun dips." 

It happened as he said, for it seemed as if a 
great curtain were suddenly let down upon the 
landscape. The light and colour ran out of the 


foreground. Soon the waters were dull grey, 
though the forests still burned. Then the forests 
were quenched, though the highest trees had gold 
crowns and the far ridge of hills. These faded 
in turn, and in a grey world the yacht came to 
her moorings in the little bay of Entoro. The 
dinghies were lowered and the company went 

They were met on the beach by the whole 
population of the place, led by a tall oldish man 
with grey whiskers, whom Carey introduced as 
the Reverend Alexander Macdowall, in charge 
of the Scotch Mission. He led them to a low, 
white, barrack-like building, which was an ap- 
pendage to the mission-house, and which Carey 
used as a lodge on the occasion of his visits. It 
was found to be severely but comfortably fur- 
nished, and the yacht's servants having brought 
up plate and linen and some of the minor com- 
forts of civilisation, the company were soon 
installed in quarters which might be regarded 
as luxurious in any tropical town. The mosquito- 
nets and the absence of fireplaces spoke of a 
climate very difierent to Musuru : but the night, 
as it chanced, was not unduly warm. Save for 
the humming of insects and that faint musty 
smell which is inseparable from houses on which 
for most of the year the sun beats hotly, the 


dinner, cooked by the yacht's servants, might 
have been served in some old-fashioned Scotch 

To the meal came Mr Macdowall, splendidly 
habited in an antique suit of broadcloth. His 
weathered face, his sharp and kindly blue eyes 
set in a maze of wrinkles, and his spare, straight 
figure made up a picture which took the eye as 
something clean-cut and virile. His manner had 
the spacious ease which the wilds give to those 
who are not enslaved by them. He called Carey 
" Francis," and adopted the company at once into 
the circle of his friendship. 

" I come from your own countryside. Lord Ap- 
pin," he said, in answer to a question ; " I have 
not been back for ten years, and I question if I 
could retm-n. I have made my own place here, 
and I could not endure interference very readily 
again. I daresay at home I should even be fall- 
ing out with the police. Besides, there's no need 
to go back. I have no near relations, and the 
thing I most cared for in Scotland was the fish- 
ing. But I can get that here now, and I'm quite 

" What was the place like when you came ? " 
Hugh asked. 

"A den of cut-throats," said the missionary. 
" Tribe warring against tribe, the land raided by 


Arab slave-dealers, and no man knowing when 
he woke in the morning if he should see another. 
I lived through three massacres of Christians and 
half-a-dozen native wars, and by -and -by the 
place settled down. England began to hear 
about the lakes, and we had travellers and 
hunters visiting us, and things began to get a 
little better. Our work had been much blessed 
—not in the ordinary sense, ye understand, for 
there were few converts of the real sort, but we 
had driven some habits of industry and decency 
into the people. It was a hard life in those 
days, for we had little but native food, and our 
medicines often ran short. I had a good deal 
of blackwater fever, and several times I was 
nearly dead with it. I remember all those days 
I could not get the thought of the Ochils out 
of my head — yon fine, green, clean country with 
A well-head in every howe. Out on the knoll 
where I had my hut I could see on clear days 
the long blue line of the Mau, where Musuru 
stands now. It used to comfort me to look at 
it. I knew there was a cool blessed country up 
there, and many a time I said over the psalm 
to myself, *I will lift up mine eyes unto the 
hills, fi:om whence cometh my help.' I was con- 
vinced that the regeneration of this place could 
only come from the heights." 



" And did it ? " some one asked. 

"To be sure. Francis came, and at last we 
had a man in this feckless country. I am not 
going to bring the blushes to the cheek of my 
old friend, but you will believe me when I tell 
you that he put new life into the whole land. 
All the industries here are his starting. He 
has more influence among natives than any man 
since Livingstone. And then he has Musuru, 
that city set upon a hill-top, to which we can 
all go for advice and rest." 

" The rainbow trout will be ready for you next 
month," said Carey. 

"I'll be there," said the old man, chuckling. 
"This is Central Africa. And yet in two days 
I can get up to a Scotch glen, with bracken to 
catch your flies in, and I can get as good trout 
out of the pools with a black hackle as ever I 
got in the Devon. It is all the refreshment I 
ask for. Give me a day now and then with my 
rod, and Tm prepared to bide in this vineyard 
till my call comes." 

Now it chanced that nearest Mr Wakefield's 
heart lay a passion for fly-fishing, and when the 
meal was over he claimed Mr Macdowall for a 
highly technical conversation. The party broke 
into groups : two rubbers of bridge were organ- 
ised, and the others wandered into the verandah. 


beneath which the lake gleamed faintly under 
a young moon. Marjory Haystoun, fired with 
a sudden zeal for adventure, started with Mrs 
Wilbraham for the shore, regardless of a heavy 
dew and the thinness of her evening shoes ; but 
the pair were summarily recalled by Mr Astbury, 
who spoke darkly of fever. By - and - by the 
bridge ended, and Mr Macdowall, tearing him- 
self from a discourse on tiger -fish, made his 

"I've done what you told me, Francis," he 
said to Carey. "The chiefs will come in early 
in the morning, and you can hold your palaver 
with them after breakfast. The white folk will 
be at the kirk at eleven to hear what you have 
got to say. I daresay I'm breaking my ordination 
vows— resigning my pulpit to a notorious heretic 
like you, but a little heresy once in a way does 
the world good. It's like an artificial flee, and 
excites the appetite if it does not satisfy the 

The Duchess, who was a pillar of the Estab- 
lishment, was relieved to learn next morning 
at breakfast that the whole party proposed to 
attend church, but she was a little dismayed to 
hear that the service was to consist of an address 
firom their host. Her dismay was not lessened 


by the discovery that it was to be preceded by 
a gathering of native chiefs to present their 
respects to Carey. 

" Surely it is scarcely work for a Sunday 
morning," she complained. "I dislike mixing 
up politics and religion. Besides, Francis is not 
in orders, he is not even a lay reader, and I 
know that he holds the most terrible opinions 
about the bishops. One of them told me that 
he always felt that Francis might pat him on 
the head if he said anything he agreed with, 
and tell him he was a good boy. I am not in 
the least afraid of natives, but I object to sit 
in the midst of a circle of hundreds. I shall 
feel too like an early Christian." 

"Some time ago, Susan," said Carey, **I be- 
lieve you occupied a conspicuous position on a 
platform at the Albert Hall. You were then in 
the midst of a circle not of hundreds but of 
thousands, and you showed no anxiety. You 
will find very little difierence in the spectators 
to-day except that they have better manners, 
and are on the whole better to look at. I 
ought to say, however, that they will all be 
armed. I will not have these people meet me 
except as free men, and in this country it is 
the badge of a free man to carry spear and 


The ordeal turned out to be of the mildest 
kind. The party were conducted to a spot a 
few hundred yards from the beach, where they 
found a semicircle of black warriors gathered 
around a little green hill. The chiefs stood to 
attention as they approached, and saluted in 
silence. But when Carey, who came a little 
later, ascended the mound he was greeted with 
a shout of welcome and a raising of spear-points 
skywards, which made the women shiver and 
flushed Lady Flora's cheek with excitement. 

"That is the royal salute," Hugh whispered. 
" I wonder how many tribes in the continent give 
him that. He once told me he thought he had 
over thirty native names, and they are all 

Carey sat down on a tree trunk, and the 
spokesman of the chiefs approached him. In 
the main he spoke their own tongue, but for 
those who used a special dialect he had a boy 
from the Mission to interpret. So far as the 
party could follow, the discussion was mainly 
about crops and stock diseases. There was some 
talk of a tribal disturbance on the western border, 
and once when a decision seemed to be questioned, 
Carey's slow, quiet tones changed to a sharp com- 
mand, and the watchers saw his mouth harden. 
Sitting there among his own people, his massive 


figure and brooding face had a superb air of 
authority. All the men — Wakefield, Lord Appin, 
Lord Launceston, even Sir Edward — seemed to 
shrivel in the contrast, like beings out of their 
proper sphere. 

"I never realised before how handsome he 
was," Lady Flora said to Hugh. " He came to 
dine with us in London in July, and I remember 
thinking that his clothes did not fit and that he 
carried himself badly. I could not help compar- 
ing him with a colonel in the Guards, who was 
also dining and who had the most beautiful 
straight figure. But out here he looks like a 
king. No one could be afiraid of my Guards- 
man, but I cannot imagine any one disobeying 
Mr Carey. It is that massive head of his which 
overawes one like a mountain." 

The business did not take long. Carey spoke 
a few final words slowly and impressively in a 
native tongue, there was a low murmur of 
applause, and the indaba was over. The party 
walked back silently to the mission-house, where 
they found the whole population of the settle- 
ment assembling. Besides the Mission staff 
there were a number of teachers from the in- 
dustrial school, a contingent of local traders 
and planters, and a few Government officials. 
Carey knew every one by name, and was full 


of kindly inquiries. Most of them had been his 
guests at Musuru, and his greetings were those 
of a popular country squire with his neighbours 
at meet or market. 

The little whitewashed mission church was 
filled to overflowing. The Duchess had rarely 
in her life felt at a loss, but the air of the gather- 
ing made her nervous. There was a Sabbatical 
hush in the audience, which suggested a religious 
service, but none of the accessories of church were 
present. Mr Macdowall entered and sat down 
on the chair commonly reserved for the choir- 
master, where he proceeded to take snufi* and 
gaze at the audience through benevolent spec- 
tacles. Then came Carey, who ascended the small 
pulpit, cleared away a Bible and a water-bottle 
which stood on the book -board, and, standing 
erect with his hands in his pockets, thus ad- 
dressed his hearers— 

**This is not a service, so we need waste no 
time in preliminaries. I have asked you to come 
here to-day because I wanted to meet you face to 
face and say certain things to you. We are all 
fellow- workers in one cause, though we call it by 
different names. I am older than most of you, 
and I have had a wider experience than most of 
you, so my views on the things which most deeply 
concern you may possibly be of some little assist- 


ance. I am not going to talk to you about 
theology, but what I have to say is vitally con- 
cerned with religion. Whatever our creeds — 
and I daresay Macdowall would scarcely credit 
me with any — we are all serious men, and in our 
various ways, as far as our imperfect light allows, 
we may claim to be seeking the kingdom of God 
and His righteousness." 

"Ye're mistaken, Francis," Mr Macdowall in- 
terrupted ; " ye're lamentably unsound in the 
faith, but I never denied that ye were a pro- 
foundly religious man." 

Carey's face relaxed into a smile. " Well, then, 
I will take advantage of this testimonial, and talk 
to you in this church about secular things. Every 
country and every group of men have some special 
problem of their own. They have dozens of 
problems, of course, but there is always one 
which may be considered the centre of gravity, 
and on this it is their business to concentrate 
their attention, for on its settlement depends the 
settlement of all the others. Your business, on 
which everything else depends, is the wise man- 
agement of the native peoples that live round 
about you. For every white man there are forty 
or fifty natives, and yet in your hands lies the 
administration and on your head is the respon- 
sibility for the future of the country. You have 


to fight against ignorance, stupidity, and bar- 
barism. So has all the world; but you have 
the tremendous advantage that you have your 
foes in concrete shape before your eyes and know 
exactly what you have to get to grips with. In 
England we have the same enemies, but we can- 
not see them, and we have first of all to go and 
hunt for them ; and there is a perpetual difierence 
of opinion as to which is which — some calling 
ignorance honesty and stupidity wisdom. You 
are spared all this fuss. You know what 
brutality is and what decency is. You have 
got to convert the one into the other. 

" I am going to talk to you to-day about the 
two extremes we have to avoid. The first is the 
danger of underrating the status of the black 
man, and the second is the still greater danger 
of overrating it. As to the first, I know that 
most of you feel strongly about certain recent 
changes which have been made in the criminal 
law. Well, I was largely responsible for these 
changes, and I am here to defend and explain 
them. You argue, some of you, that the native 
is a child and must be treated as a child and pun- 
ished at the discretion of his master, who stands to 
him in loco parentis. You maintain that to make 
native discipline depend upon the cumbersome 
machinery of a court of law is to make it a farce. 



Who, you ask, when his servant offends will be 
at the pains to take him before a magistrate? 
He will either take the law into his own hands, 
which will be bad for the discipline of the State, 
or he will let the matter pa^, which wUl ruin 
the discipline of his household. That may be 
so, but if he follows the latter course he will 
have only himself to thank, and if he follows 
the first he will be punished. And the reason 
is that we dare not underrate the status of the 
native. You may repeat that he is a child, but 
the law must look upon him not as a potential 
but as an actual citizen, and must give him the 
dignity of such. He must stand before it as an 
equal with the white man — not a social equal 
or a political equal, but a legal equal. It is the 
State and not the individual that has the main 
interest in his development, and therefore to the 
State must be left the responsibility. To place it 
with the private citizen is to give him a burden 
more heavy than he can bear, and to expose him 
to those temptations towards brutality and in- 
justice and caprice which may end in his own 
degradation. The State rightly refuses to allow 
such risks. With it rests the sole duty of punish- 
ment. But — and here I speak to practical men 
who will not, I think, misunderstand me — what 
after all is the meaning of law ? It is the norm 


of conduct framed to suit average circumstances. 
A man must comply with it or pay the penalty, 
but sometimes it may be right to pay the penalty 
and break it. I may prevent a man in a public 
street from doing something disgracefril but not 
criminal, and I may be guilty of assault in the 
process. I am justified in breaking the law, and 
the law is right in fining me. There are a 
thousand conceivable cases when legal docility 
is a moral disgrace or a practical folly. Every 
man must have clearly before him his duty as a 
citizen. If he breaks the law he must be clear 
that his warrant is sound both as regards his 
own conscience and the State to which he owes 
obedience. Especially is this the case with the 
new law as to the rights of natives. It does not 
prevent a white man in emergencies from making 
a law for himself, but by its prohibition it compels 
him to be very certain about his justification. 
It will, I trust, put an end to caprice and en- 
courage fair dealing, for he who breaks it can 
only appeal to the last and most rigorous of 

"The second danger is that you conceive of 
the native status as higher than it really is. 
This fault will be committed by the idealists 
among you, as the other will be the error of the 
practical man. And yet I have often found 


idealists and practical men alike doing homage 
to what I can only think is a false conception 
of native development. The native's mind is 
sharp and quick, his memory is often prodigious, 
and he has histrionic and mimetic gifts which 
may mislead his teachers. But for all that he 
stands at a diflferent end of the scale of develop- 
ment from the white man. He represents the 
first stage of humanity, and he has to travel 
a long way before he can reach that level which 
we roughly call our civilisation. You cannot an- 
nihilate ten strenuous centuries by assuming that 
they have not existed, and inviting the native 
to crowd the work of them into a year or two. 
Between his mind at its highest and ours at 
its lowest there is a great gulf fixed, which is 
not to be crossed by taking thought. It is less 
a difierence in powers — for he has powers as 
remarkable often as our own — as in mental 
atmosphere, the conditions under which his 
mind works, and consequently the axioms of 
his thought. He will learn gladly what we 
have to teach him, and you will imagine that 
the lesson of civilisation has been learned, when 
suddenly you are pulled up by some piece of 
colossal childishness which shows that that mind 
whose docility you have admired has been moving 
all the time in a world a thousand years distant 


from your own. We must recognise this gulf 
and frame our education accordingly. At bottom, 
and for obvious reasons, the native mind is 
grossly materialistic. The higher virtues and 
what we call "spirituality" are radically unin- 
telligible to it, though it may learn to claim 
them and to talk their jargon. We must begin, 
therefore, with the first things, if we do not 
wish to get a dishonest parrot-like adherence to 
creeds which are not understood and have no 
power to influence life. I think there is more 
need for imagination and insight and foresight 
in a missionary among the black races than in 
most statesmen, for he has to study a mind 
and character most alien to our own and select 
from the vast storehouse of our civilisation the 
kind of nourishment suited to it. 

"Remember that education is a thing which 
must take its colour from the needs that it is 
provided to satisfy. Your business is to incul- 
cate in the native mind the elements of citizen- 
ship and Christian morality. It can only be 
done by degrees, but for heaven's sake begin 
with the truths that matter, and never mind 
the frillings for the moment. Get your founda- 
tions laid deep and solid. Preach the Atone- 
ment and the Fatherhood of God, and leave 
out your fancy dogmas. Teach the children to 


read and write, but do not aim at higher educa- 
tion, for that means black parsons and black 
schoolmasters, and for that class the market is 
overstocked, and they are outcasts from the 
society of those whom they would claim as in- 
tellectual equals. Above all things teach them 
trades and handicrafts and the simple laws of 
a decent life. It is not our business, as I keep 
telling my friends, to create a new heaven but 
to create a new earth. Get these strange, sullen, 
childish, dark-skinned people hammered into a 
peaceable and prosperous society, and you have 
laid the foundation of all the virtues. Teach 
them the elements of cleanliness and comfort 
and you will find them already grounded in 
honesty and loyalty ; and you may soon get 
them to take their pla.ce in our complex system, 
— low down, of course, — but still indubitably 
within it. Don't try and make out of them 
theologians or schoolmasters or bagmen or 
electioneering humbugs. Leave the scmn of 
civilisation for civilisation to deal with. You 
have still, thank Heaven 1 a simple community : 
keep it simple so long as you can, for it is 
on simple lines alone that it can make true 

"You may say that I offer you, merchants, 


planters, teachers, all of you, a gloomy pro- 
gramme. We are to civilise the land, you will 
say, by slow methods, and we shall be dead and 
buried long before the results come. Your com- 
plaint would be just if your only task were native 
administration. But it is not. Tou have the 
economic and political development of the land 
to think of, and you have your own future, for 
there is a white community growing up beside 
the black. And remember that the presence of 
the native races makes every man of you an 
administrator. If you face your duty, every 
white citizen will have the training of a pro- 
consul, the same kind of problems to solve, the 
same qualities of character in demand. That 
is no small honour. What kind of race will 
your sons be if they grow up with the sense of 
civic duty alive in them, content to work slowly 
because hopefully and long-sigh tedly ? I am one 
of the men who believe in the regeneration of 
the African continent. When the world has 
preached its lessons to her, she will also have 
something to say to the world. I do not think 
that the battles and the bloodshed, the young men 
who never came back, the lonely graves in the 
desert, the hopes crushed only to revive again — 
I do not think that these will have been in vain. 


Do you remember one of Pitt's perorations when 
that austere statesman gave rein to his fancy 
and delivered a prophecy whose justification 
you and I still await? I commend its rhetoric 
to you as a watchword. * If we listen/ he said, 
*to the voice of reason and duty, and pursue 
the line of conduct which they prescribe, some 
of us may live to see the reverse of that picture, 
from which we now turn our eyes with shame 
and regret. We may live to behold the nations 
of Africa engaged in the calm occupations of 
industry, in the pursuits of a just and legitimate 
commerce. We may behold the beams of science 
and philosophy breaking in upon this land, which 
at some happy period in still later times may 
blaze with full lustre, and, joining their influence 
to that of pure religion, may illuminate and in- 
vigorate the most distant extremities of that 
immense continent. Then may we hope that 
even Africa, though last of all the quarters of 
the globe, shall enjoy at length in the evening 
of her days those blessings which have descended 
so plentifully upon us in a much earlier period 
of the world. Then also will Europe, participat- 
ing in her improvement and prosperity, receive 
an ample recompense for the tardy kindness — 
if kindness it can be called — of no longer hinder- 
ing that continent from extricating herself out 


of the darkness, which in other more fortunate 
regions has been so much more speedily dispelled. 

' Nosque ubi primus equis Oriens afflavit anhelis, 
lUic sera ruboDS accendit lumina Vesper ! ' " ^ 

Late in the afternoon, as the yacht was once 
again slipping through violet waters, and tea 
was being served on deck, the Duchess found 
herself beside Mr Wakefield. 

" Francis is the oddest speaker of my acquaint- 
ance," she said. " It is such a mixture of straight- 
forward prose and ambiguous poetry. And yet 
there is an art in it. You saw how he impressed 
these people. My brother might have spoken 
like an angel for hours without anything like 
the effect that Francis had with a few abrupt 
sentences. It is the man that does it. His 
figure, with his hands in pockets, has such a 
power about it, and such a past behind it, that 
people listen not so much to what his voice says 
as to his presence." 

Mr Wakefield looked back to where the forests 
and blue mountains of Entoro were growing faint 
in the evening haze. " On the second day of my 
visit," he said slowly, "I objected to the *man 
of destiny.' I withdraw that objection now. 
The thing may be undemocratic, illiberal, and 

1 Virgil : Georgics, i. 260, 261. 




reactionary — I do not care a penny whistle if 
it ia It is the only power which can plant 
civUisation in the wilds and turn savages into 
orderly citizens. Our democracy is excellent in 
its way, but it can't do that sort of thing — 
you want the individual with his heart on fire 
to start the ball. You want faith and hope, 
and men have these things but not departments 
or nations. So much do I value the man of 
destiny now that I will describe him in the 
words of a writer I detest, — he is * the Cyclo- 
pean architect, the roadmaker of Humanity ! ' " 



At dinner the following evening Carey an- 
nounced that the subject for discussion that 
night was economic. A profound gloom fell on 
the company. 

" I hate the word," said the Duchess. " When 
any one proposes some generous scheme the im- 
mediate answer is that it is * imeconomic' I 
believe that the whole thing is a false science, 
invented by the trading classes to conceal their 
own rapacity. They identify their penny-wise 
cunning with the laws of nature and claim a 
divine sanction for their misdeeds. Besides, I am 
sick of the kind of argument we have heard so 
much of for the paat two years. To my mind 
even the few economic laws which are certain 
may very properly be overridden for the sake 
of higher interests. You tell me that Protection 
is good or bad economics, and I don't care a 
fig. I want to know if it is good or bad 

I 1 I 

living with you is turning aJ 
have made Susan a Tory a 

" I am not going to ask you \ 
economics," said Carey, " thoug 
deal to be said for them. All 1 
is to look at the eternal problc 
in all States — riches and pove 
control of the one and the cm 
It is an immense subject, and 
among facts and figures we shal 
morass. At the same time tl 
principles here as elsewhere, a 
possible to disentangle a few of 
fully how the recognition of tl 
empire will affect capital and h 
a man's lifetime. But I think w 
what the general line of the a 
promise you, Susan, von aKoii 


itself with nothing else, I claim complete econo- 
mic orthodoxy. My objection to the science is 
that it tends to approximate in its methods to 
theology. Its votaries are apt to make laws of 
Sinai out of deductions from the conmierce of a 
single epoch, forgetting to distinguish between 
what is sufficiently axiomatic to constitute a 
general law and what is only true under special 
and terminable conditions. Indeed, my chief com- 
plaint against the science is that it is too loose 
rather than too formal. My other complaint is 
that it mistakes its vocation. It starts from highly 
abstract data and builds up on them a structure 
of ingenious puzzles. It erects into a real-phil- 
osophie what is purely formal, and, forgetting the 
abstraction of its starting-point, it imagines that 
it has provided a philosophy of life. A few ele- 
mentary lessons in the art of definition would 
make the toil of economists of some use. As it 
is, they spend much of their time in the agreeable 
intellectual pastime of spinning cocoons. Tou 
may say, so does the metaphysician. But he is 
dealing with tremendous verities. And however 
fallacious, however over-subtle he may be, the 
magnitude of his task ennobles him. I cannot 
find the same elevation in tracking the vagaries 
of that quaint fiction the * economic man.' " 
As if to secure some cheerfrilness for a dull 

■ I' f 

panels of old turquoise -b 
was modelled on that of a 
Versailles; the carpet was 
pile ; the furniture was all c 
of Marie Antoinette. The I 
and on the tables were bom 
morocco, and the few ornai 
Sevres ware or old ivory, 
which himg over the chimn» 
of blue -robed nymphs danc 
expanse of spring sky. The 
of ivory silk, and in the soft li| 
swam in a delicate harmony a 
The scene was so strange anc 
of the guests gave an invol 
miration. Even Mr Wakefie] 
entered, and subjected the Wa 
of a long and critical stare. 
" We are told," said d 


demands wealth and organisation. That is our 
simple syllogism. Imperialism is not capitalism, 
but it is akin to it in method. The capitalist 
makes his fortune by recognising the value of 
combination and the wisdom of earning profits 
over the largest area possible. Imperialism de- 
pends likewise upon a form of combination. Both 
believe that Providence is on the side of the 
bigger social battalions. 

" This, of course, is a truism. The diflSculty 
arises when the imperialist State and the capit- 
alist citizen come into conflict. Both have ad- 
mittedly the same methods. Moreover, the 
great capitalist schemes must be semi-political, 
so the standpoint of pure individualism cannot 
be maintained. Our question therefore is, What 
is to be the relation of an imperial State to the 
rich citizen ; and how far can the State imitate 
his activity on its own account ? Or, to put it 
simply, admitting that combination and capital 
are necessary to any empire for imperial purposes, 
is the State in pursuit of such purposes to super- 
vise or to supersede the individual ? 

"We are on the brink, you see, of the tre- 
mendous question of Socialism or Individualism, 
and you will be relieved to hear that I shall not 
embark on that wintry sea. I am afraid I cannot 
take the opposition of the two terms seriously. 


Like Protection and Free Trade, they are methods, 
not ideals : curative measures, not forms of diet. 
To declare for one or the other is as if anglers 
were passionately to take sides in the question 
of dry-fly against wet-fly. To say whether the 
Empire in the future will be socialist or in- 
dividualist requires the gift not of reasoning 
but of prophecy, for to dogmatise on the char- 
acter of its development you must foretell the 
circumstances which may control it. My own 
view is that we shall see the State become in- 
creasingly more concerned with matters which 
our forefathers left to private enterprise. Partly 
it will be the result of that new view of the State 
as something intimately and organically related 
to the private life of its citizens : partly it will 
be the result simply of our greater geographical 
area. Things which were once well within the 
scope of the individual now require an organisa- 
tion so vast and complex that only the State can 
provide it, or, if the individual can compass it, 
he becomes a public menace. I can face with 
equanimity the day when our great shipping 
lines, our railways, our cable systems, even our 
mines, will be State-owned, but before that day 
can come the State must have learned more in 
the way of administration than it knows at 


^^ At the same time, I cannot conceive that the 
day will ever dawn when the private capitalist 
can be wholly or even largely superseded. For 
many activities you will always want the quicken- 
ing of the individual brain and will. Here I differ 
from my socialist friends, and I differ from them 
only because I am less of an idealist than they 
are. I do not think that men will ever spend 
themselves with the same fervour on behalf of a 
remote entity called the State as they will on 
their own private adventures. You may have 
the most admirable and conscientious officials, but 
they wiU be uninspired. They wiU administer, 
but rarely originate. In any case, any complete 
State-socialism is impossible to our Empire. I 
can picture it working well in a small neutralised 
State with no mysteries in her future. But what 
possible State organisation is capable of dealing 
with the whole life of a vast complex of States 
in all the latitudes of the globe ? " 

"The socialist would answer," said Hugh, 
" that if empire does not admit of his creed, 
then so much the worse for empire." 

" He might," said Carey, " but I do not think 
he will, if he is given to thinking seriously about 
the question. I have never found his class a re- 
actionary one. But if he does, then I say in turn, 
so much the worse for socialism. For of the two 


creeds there can be no question which is the 
stronger. The one is a method, a particular 
theory of administration ; the other is an ideal, 
a gospel of a fuller national life. Few people, I 
think, will be prepared on behalf of a speculation 
as to the best mode of government to give up the 
task of government altogether — which is what 
the demand would be. 

" However, I am not concerned to prophesy, 
and sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. I 
assume that the private capitalist will not be 
unknown in the future, that the State cannot 
wholly supersede him. Is it, thea, to supervise 
him ? Bemember that the great fortunes of the 
future will not be made by old methods. Their 
makers will be no longer object-lessons in the 
wisdom of Benjamin Franklin's maxims. The 
millionaire of the future will be a statesman. He 
will administer affairs as complex and vast as the 
politics of a small nation. I am myself only a 
beginner, but politics in some form or other enter 
into every detail of my business. The great 
capitalist will have imagination and courage and 
foresight beyond most men. 

"Now, there is to my mind a very great 
danger in the appearance of a class of men of 
the first order in ability and force of character, 
and with immense power at their command, and 


the whole outside the State. It is a government 
within a government, private citizens who in 
effect have governing powera I merely point 
out the danger, for I have no remedy prepared. 
We must recognise that empire will extend the 
sphere of the great capitalist, and take measures 
accordingly. If I were sketching out a Utopia, 
it would, of course, be easy to fix a limit beyond 
which private fortunes should not go. We should 
allow our capitalist his energy but not his profits. 
He would be a tame revenue-earning machine for 
the State, making millions and receiving a few 
thousands as pocket-money. But I confess I can 
see no scheme which, as the world stands, would 
prevent the danger and yet not put an end to 
the fact of capitalism, and, since I believe that 
fact to be desirable on public grounds, I am not 
prepared for any heroic remedy. 

" There is one thing to be said, however, which 
may give us hope. The capitalist of the future, 
we agreed, will not be the ordinary dull rich 
man. He will either be a great criminal or a 
considerable patriot. If he is the first I hope 
that the law may be strong enough to keep him 
in boimds, but if he is the latter he may be a 
great ally of the State. The millionaire who 
makes money solely to spend it on his pleasures 
is a cumberer of the ground. I do not care 


whether his pleasures are gross or refined, he is 
in any case a cumberer of the ground. But the 
man who with such a narrow soul will make a 
great fortune in the future will be rare indeed. 
He may make a million by rigging the market, 
but he will do little good at that serious exploit- 
ation which is closely akin to statecraft. It is 
only the latter which concerns us, for it is only 
if the latter falls into the hands of the fool or 
the knave that the political danger I dread will 
appear. Bemember, I am talking of exploitation 
and of new production, not of the mere control of 
distribution, which is the object of the ordinary 
Transatlantic trust, for it is in the first kind of 
activity only that empire and capital come into 
close relation. The men who will succeed, I 
hope, will be those who find themselves capable 
of only spending a portion of their fortune on 
themselves and who have no desire to ruin their 
families by hoarding it for them. They will find 
their hobby not in rare furniture or on the Turf, 
but in doing, so far as the individual can, the 
work of the State." 

Carey spoke these last words with a smile, 
looking towards Lord Appin. The shaft, how- 
ever, failed of effect, for, as it chanced. Lord 
Appin's gaze was occupied with a beautiful 
cabinet, inlaid with agate and ivory. He looked 


up, caught Carey's eye, and looked again at the 
inestimable treasure. "No, Francis," he said 
sadly, " it is very clear that neither you nor I 
can live at that austere height. I hope you will 
spare the poor fellows some foible to keep them 
from the ennui of unvarying altruism." 

"I am not very much concerned with the 
capitalist," said the Duchess. " I am much more 
anxious about labour. Mr Lowenstein, you once 
spoke at my Plaistow settlement on the subject. 
I wish you would say again what you told us 

Mr Lowenstein was so frail in constitution 
that even the tonic air of Musuru had failed to 
give him complete health. His nervous activity 
made him the prey of headaches, and at the 
earlier discussions he had sat silent and miser- 
able. For some reason, however, the trip to 
Entoro had done him good, and to-night he was 
in the best of spirits. 

" What I have to say," he began, " can be put 
very shortly. And it has been put in far better 
words than I can command." 

He opened a slim, well-worn book, that looked 
a very shabby intruder among the superb bind- 
ings around him. 

" People say that Ruskin is not read now and 
that his day is over. I think Mrs Deloraine told 


me that he had done more than any other man 
to Corinthianise English prose. That may be 
true, but he was the first writer under whose 
charm I fell, and I cannot forget my early love 
for him. And he happens to say in one passage 
exactly what I wish to say to-night. It is in 
' The Crown of Wild Olive,' ^ where he is speak- 
ing of the future of England. 

'Are her dominions in the world so narrow/ he 
asks, 'that she can find no place to spin cotton in 
but Yorkshire? We may organise emigration into 
an infinite power. We may assemble troops of the 
more adventurous and ambitious of our youths, we 
may send them on truest foreign service, founding 
new seats of authority and centres of thought in un- 
cultivated and unconquered lands ; retaining the full 
affection to our native country no less in our colon- 
ists than in our armies, teaching them to maintain 
allegiance to their fatherland in labour no less than 
in battle ; aiding them with free land in the prose- 
cution of discovery, and the victory over adverse 
natural powers ; establishing seats of every manufac- 
ture in the climates and places best fitted for it, and 
bringing ourselves into due alliance and harmony of 
skill with the dexterities of every race and the wis- 
dom of every tradition and every tongue.' 

These words seem to me to contain the truth 
about our social problem. England is too old 
a civilisation, and her natural productive forces 
have been exploited to the full. We have a 

* § 159. 


vast industrial system which absorbs our ener- 
gies, and since we have put all our eggs into 
the industrial basket, our prospects on the 
insular basis depends on its continuance at a 
certain high and artificial level. I say 'arti- 
ficial/ for I think English industrialism must be 
admitted by every one to have long ago gone 
beyond the point where it is only one of many 
elements in the national life. Almost everything 
else has been sacrificed to it, and our peculiar 
position, historically and geographically, has 
given us the chance of achieving this abnormal 
development. But because it is abnormal it is 
all on a needle-point. We have no background 
such as other countries possess in their rural 
prosperity. We are urban and industrial or 
nothing. The ordinary large works are situated 
in some densely inhabited and highly rated 
neighbourhood. Their working expenses are 
enormous, and their margin of profit variable, 
since it depends upon so many undetermined 
conditions. Let there be a shortage in the for- 
eign crop which furnishes their raw material, 
or a new tariff clapped on their manufactured 
article by some large consumer, or a new Factory 
Act, or a fresh rate, and the whole system gets 
out of gear. The work for the labourer is there- 
fore generally speculative, and there is an equally 


speculative element on his side. He finds the 
housing problem insoluble, and he labours gener- 
ally under conditions which break his health ; 
and he is at the mercy of the organisation of 
his own trade, and may find himself called to 
sacrifice his own present comfort for the assumed 
ultimate advantage of his class. 

" These and a dozen other elements of uncer- 
tainty, which spring from the extreme artificiality 
of our industrial system, tend to create the un- 
employed problem. Even the skilled workman 
finds himself frequently out of work, while the 
vast class of the unskilled — the unfortunates who 
are morally, mentally, or physically handicapped, 
or who through misfortime or lack of energy 
have remained at the foot of the ladder of 
labour — feel the insecurity more deeply. To my 
mind there is only one diagnosis of the eviL 
Industrialism has eaten us up, and, like all 
monopolies, has become a morbid growth, taking 
our life's blood and giving us little back. We 
are too preoccupied with it, and it is too pre- 
occupied with itself It is — how shall I say ? — 
like a quantity of hot charcoal which, if spread 
through all the rooms of the house would have 
pleasantly warmed them, but if collected in one 
chamber will asphyxiate the inmates. And the 
result is the starving poor in our streets, and in 


every gi'eat city some quarter which is a sink 
of misery and crime. 

"There are, of course, a hundred proposals. 
Some maintain that the State should turn itself 
into a kind of Universal Employer, and use the 
derelict classes on public works devised for no 
other purpose than their relief I do not think 
such a course would do much good. The State, 
by its large outlay on unproductive and un- 
necessary works, would be lessening the wealth 
of the country, and thereby lowering industrial 
well-being and adding indirectly to that evil of 
unemployment which it purported to cure. 
Some again are prepared to nationalise means 
of production, and make all industry a State 
concern. No doubt that course would effect 
many startling changes, but it would overturn 
the foundations of our society, the good with the 
evil ; and I do not think that the English people 
will be inclined to burn their house down in 
order to cure the damp in the cellar. Some 
people propose, vaguely but benevolently, a 
return to the land. The great proprietors would 
disappear, and their estates would be converted 
into a multitude of small holdings, on which the 
unskilled, who had failed to maintain themselves 
at simple trades, would be set down to the most 
difficult of all professions. Of all schemes this 



seems to me the most crazy. If you make the 
holdings smaU enough to admit of a great num- 
ber of families being settled on the land, you 
will make it impossible for these families to make 
a living. It is the simplest calculation. In the 
present state of English agriculture we know 
exactly how much land and how much capital 
are required before there can be suflScient return 
to make an income. If, on the other hand, you 
create only a small number of largish forms, you 
do not touch the unemployed problem. 

"There are many other suggestions which I 
need not repeat. But there is one feature com- 
mon to them all. They all propose to settle the 
question on the basis of England, and England 
alone. Now I maintain that to attempt this is 
simply to reshuffle the cards without an atom 
of positive gain. The disease we are sufferings 
from is congestion, a poverty of means to ends, 
a lack of breathing-space and opportunity* 
Millions are being morally starved because they 
have no hope in their lives, and their labour is 
without honour or ideals; and, may be, physi- 
cally starved because they are not wanted in the 
present industrial market. What we have to 
realise is that these islands of ours are over- 
exploited. You may arrange your beans in dif- 
ferent ways, but you will never make more than 


five ; and if you want a square meal you must 
get more beans. 

" Therefore I say with all the earnestness I 
possess, that we can never settle the labour 
question with its kindred problem of unem- 
ployment on an English basia What would 
we think of a landowner whose fields were 
grossly overstocked and his animals starved, al- 
though he had a rich farm at the other side 
of the county which was wholly ungrazed. We 
must take into account all our assets and face 
the difficulties in a spirit of sober reason. Let 
us find out what margin of workmen are crowded 
out of regular employment, let us classify care- 
fully, for each problem must be dealt with on 
its merits, and there is no short cut to a 
solution. But let us keep in mind all the data, 
for there is no hope for us if we refuse to admit 
more than one-third into our inquiry. Public 
works for the unemployed may be imnecessary 
and wasteful in England, but elsewhere in the 
Empire they may be both necessary and econ- 
omical. 'Back to the land' may be a foolish 
cry in a country where the soil refuses to 
support its owners, but the same thing is not 
true of the whole globe. There are countries 
which need above all things men, that com- 
modity of which we have enough and to spare. 


They will take our raw human material and 
shape it for us. And they will take our in- 
dustries and plant them in places where the 
men employed can lead a fi:ee life. The day 
of the great factory with its operatives living 
in the acres of squalid houses around it is 
going, I believe, even in England. It is re- 
cognised that industries under such conditions 
sin alike against decency, patriotism, and true 
economy. Even in England to-day you have 
your factories in the country and your model 
industrial villasres. What is done on a small 
«ale within o^ island can ba done on a groat 
scale within the Empire. It is for wiser men 
than me to settle the details, but I am con- 
vinced that Buskin has found in the matter a 
truth which is hidden from Boyal Commissions." 

Mr Lowenstein spoke nervously and rapidly, 
and when he ceased he lay back in his chair 
as if much fatigued and closed his eyes. Lady 
WarcUff, who in spite of her energy and in- 
dependence had always some prophet at whose 
feet she sat in her leisure, watched him with a 
solicitous face, and, since he showed no signs of 
continuing, took up his parable. 

"As a woman interested m philanthropy," 
she began, " I heartily wish the thing had never 
been heard of We are smothered with it now- 


adays. We want less charity, and more justice 
and intelligence. Some one has divided man- 
kind into soft-hearted cruel people and hard- 
hearted kind people. The first have had their 
day, and a pretty mess they have made of it. 
They have filled our hospitals and asylums, and 
given us our East Ends, and our unemployed 
demonstrations. Comfortable people like a little 
easy charity as the sauce to their enjoyment. 
They are too cowardly and supine to face the 
truth, so they hang over it the cloak of their 
egregious generosity. We shall never get one 
step farther till we recognise that the destitute 
must be divided sharply into two classes — those 
who may be saved and those who, being past 
hope, should cease to exist." 

"Upon my word, Margaret, our sex comes 
very badly out of these discussions," the 
Duchess's voice had a startled note in it. "On 
board the yacht I heard Caroline airily ad- 
vocating persecution, and now you want to cure 
our disorders by the euthanasia of social cripples. 
I «n horrified that barbarian should fi J ita 
only advocates among women." 

" I was afraid I should shock you," said Lady 
WarcliflP sweetly. " And yet — will you show 
me any other remedy ? There are classes of 
the poor in every town who in all seriousness 


are beyond hope. It may be physical, or moral, 
or mental, but the weakness is there and cannot 
be overcome. We shut up criminals and limatics, 
and yet we allow these people, who are as cer- 
tainly a leprous spot in our society, to go on 
marrying and perpetuating theb worthless stock 
and hampering the activity of the State. Sharp 
surgery is the only cure. I want to see these 
hordes of thriftless, degenerate, scrofulous pariahs 
treated as what they are, irredeemable outcasts 
from society, and compelled by the State to keep 
their noxious influence away from the saner 
parts. This, however, is beside the question. 
It is the people who are worth saving that I 
want to talk about. 

"Like everybody who has been much among 
the poor, I have had many theories as to the 
cause and the cure of the evils I saw before 
me. But after I had tried many and found 
them wanting, I came round to the kind of 
creed which Mr Lowenstein has been sketching. 
It is this alone which makes me call myself an 
Imperialist. The common cant of empire is more 
obnoxious to me, I think, than any other cant. 
I have no liking for rhetoric or adventure, and 
most of my best friends belong to the school 
which is untouched by the glamour of foreign 
dominion. I want, like them, to cure our own 


evils before we proselytise up and down the 
earth, but it is just because of that desire that 
I am an Imperialist. 

"Take the very poor — men and women who 
are capable of work and could be raised under 
decent conditions to a wholesome level of life. 
If you keep such people on charity you ruin 
their self-respect. Besides, there is not enough 
charity to go round. But what they want in 
their lives is not so much the bare means of 
existence as some kind of hope. They must 
have a horizon before them, not straight grey 
walls between which they will be shepherded 
till they die. They want to be given oppor- 
tunity, where on their own feet they can fight 
with fair confidence, first for a living and then 
for the amenities of life. Now it is my con- 
viction that as things stand to-day in England 
it is unpossible to give them opportunity. We 
may slightly improve their condition, and save 
a few here and there from starvation, but it 
is all an attempt to cure an earthquake with 
a pill. If we are true reformers we must go 
to the root of the matter and change the con- 
ditions which make destitution possible. 

'' This is the creed of socialism, and so far we 
all agree with it. Our common position is, that 
we must create opportunity for all, not merely 


rescue hard cases. Where we part company is 
the method of this reform. One way is to lower 
the rich and raise the poor, until the whole State 
forms one vast lower middle-class in respect of 
income. By this means we should not increase 
the aggregate of opportunity, but we should 
make a fiiirer distribution. My objection to it — 
or rather the chief of my many objections — is, 
that it involves so complete a revolution not only 
in the material aspects of our society but in its 
whole thought and tradition, that it will be an 
uncommonly hard thing to achieve. Besides, I 
see little attraction in a society where, as Bagehot 
said, people would be forbidden to go barefoot, 
and everybody would have one boot apiece. I 
prefer the alternative, which is more logical, and 
to my mind infinitely more attractive, than a 
levelled-down middle-class State. My proposal 
is to add to the aggregate of opportunity. I 
want to follow the great law of supply and 
demand, and send men and women away from 
the place where they are not wanted to places 
where they will be welcomed. 

** At the same time I do not call my scheme 
emigration. People are free to emigrate as they 
choose to any part of the world, and if this were 
the unfailing cure for poverty the poor would long 
ago have found it out for themselves. I advocate 


State-organised emigration within the Empire, 
because it is only under these conditions that 
you can have it scientifically organised and super- 
vised. Emigration is the least easy art in the 
world. It needs careful selection, long prepara- 
tion of land and people for each other, and it 
wants at the back of it all the authority of the 
State. I have seen many experiments made by 
private individuals and philanthropic agencies 
which have been successful, but for our problem 
the solution must be on a great scale, otherwise 
we shall not have faced the difficulties fairly. 
The State must be the great emigrator. It alone 
has the power to collect full information and 
decide whether this or that scheme is justifiable. 
It can make arrangements with the Colonies, and 
it can reduce the cost of transport to a minimum. 
An imperial executive, such as we talked of the 
other evening, will be equal to the task, for 
being representative of the whole empire it wiU 
be spared the long negotiations with Colonial 
Grovernments which we have to put up with at 
present. Besides, in its permanent Bureau of 
Intelligence it will have the machinery for framing 
its schemes on the surest and most scientific 

" If you send the right man to the right place 
in the right way you will manufacture citizens 


out of material which at present is sinking into 
the slough of despair. You will give our empty 
lands population and reduce the congestion of 
our English slums. And you will bring hope, 
and a reasonable hope, into a kind of life which is 
starved for the lack of it. I do not say that the 
result can be achieved at once. But you will 
have opened up a path, and soon it will be well 
trodden. We Imperialists look forward to our 
people becoming more mobile, and seeking a 
home wherever life can be lived freely and 
sanely, instead of choking within the limits which 
were sufficient for the fathers but are too narrow 
for the sons. We agreed the other evening that 
our industries must move as occasion demands, 
and labour will naturally follow them. These 
are inevitable but unconscious processes due to 
the compulsion of facts. Meanwhile we can 
begin by a conscious attempt to redeem the 
tragedy of our civilisation not by any violent 
cataclysm but by using those means which are 
ready at hand. In Canning's phrase, we must 
call in the new world to redress the balance of 
the old." 

" At last," said the Duchess, " we have got a 
proposal with which I can cordially agree. I 
thought when you began to talk about labour 
you were going to defend things like the im- 


portation of coolies into South Africa. You know 
how much I and many other good Imperialists 
were distressed by that." 

"You are not going to escape, Susan," said 
Lady Lucy, smiling. " Lady Warcliff has been 
talking about English labour, and I have some- 
thing to say about the other kinds which the 
Empire has to show. She pleads for greater 
elasticity for labour at home, but she has only 
touched on one part of a very large question. If 
we owe duties to English labour, we owe duties 
also to every man under our rule who works with 
his hands. You wiU find labour problems as 
difficult and as urgent as your English question 
in many parts of the Empire — in India, in the Far 
East, in the West Indies, in most parts of Africa. 
You have great tracts, like Southern India, which 
are so thronged with human beings that there is 
no room to live ; and you have places like the 
Sudan and the Transvaal, and even this neigh- 
bourhood, where the land is far richer than the 
human population it supports. If we take up the 
task of government in a scientific spirit, it is 
surely our business to fit the people to the land. 
I agree with Lady Warcliff that nothing is so 
much wanted as mobility in labour. The old idea 
was that the labouring man was rooted by Pro- 
vidence in the soil where he was bom. He might 


go away if he pleased, but the desire was thought 
to indicate frivolity. The notion that the State 
should encourage him to leave would have made 
the honest Benthamite blush. Happily that frame 
of mind is gone for ever. Where we see men 
suffocated for lack of space, and great spaces 
barren for lack of men, we are not to be kept 
from adopting the common-sense remedy by any 
lamez-f<ure croakings." 

The Duchess saw danger ahead and made haste 
to meet it half-way. 

" I have no fault to find with that, so far as it 
goes. If the Sudan can support ten millions and 
has got only three, then by all means import the 
natives of Southern India who, you say, are too 
many for their land to feed. Or let them come 
and cultivate the marshy coastlands near Mom- 
basa, where the white man cannot live. All that 
is legitimate emigration, and no Liberal could 
object to it. What I am opposed to is the 
shifting of masses of men about the world, like 
chattels, at the will of private employers. You 
exploit their laboiu* and pack them home again, 
and the main inducement to emigrate — the chance 
of a new home— is denied them." 

"And yet," said Lady Lucy, "I do not see 
why we should subscribe to the mystical doc- 
trine that emigration is a good thing if we carry 


it out to the foil, but very bad if we stop half- 
way. I can imagine so many cases where the 
half would be more than the whole — where, 
indeed, the whole would be a positive blunder. 
There are districts in India where the people 
are landowners and farmers. What they need 
is a little capital to buy more land or stock, and 
so enable themselves to make a steady living. 
They have no desire to settle abroad for good, 
and they have no need to do so. But if they 
can give their labour for a few years at good 
wages to some country which wants it, why 
should they be prevented? Or you may have 
the case of a country such as this or South 
Africa, which is naturally a white man's country, 
and which we all hope some day to see filled 
with white settlers ; but some urgent tempor- 
ary work has to be done — a railway built or 
new mines opened — and we must import labour 
at once and in large quantities. Is there any 
reason why coolies should not be brought in on 
contract, paid well for their work, and shipped 
back again ? They are not compelled to come, and 
they are paid for coming ; their coming benefits 
both themselves and the land, but their remain- 
ing would in no way benefit the land. In such 
a case surely we can have restricted emigration 
without breaking any of the Commandments." 


The Duchess looked round the company in 
despair. "What has come over my sex?'' she 
asked. " According to Caroline the chief weapon 
of Imperialism is the rack or the thumbscrew; 
according to Margaret, the lethal chamber; and 
now, according to Lady Lucy, it is the chain 
and the sjambok we must really look to. I 
begin to be afraid that our enemies are right, 
and that we have got a taint of the later Boman 
Empire in our blood. As for this restricted emi- 
gration, I refuse to distinguish it from slavery. 
It is temporary slavery, to be sure, but the 
quality is the same." 

" If you will really think what you mean by 

* slavery,' Susan, you will change your mind. 
The word is like so many others — 'despotism,' 

* force,' * filibustering,' * perpetual tutelage,' which 
the heavy guns of our opponents fire daily, — it 
looks impressive in the air, but when it strikes 
it is found to be filled with sawdust. The 
word is formidable only when it is not examined. 
If you mean by it * discipline,' then all types of 
organised action are slavery. A coolie who con- 
tracts to come here and work on a railway or 
mine, undertakes to do his work under such 
conditions as his employers prescribe. So long 
as these conditions are not such as to offend 
public morals, the men who organise it have an 


ample right to say what the particular work 
demands. The State says, further, that it does 
not wish these coolies to remain in the country. 
Is not the State the best judge of what the 
country requires? Is there anything immoral 
in a country shutting its doors against a special 
kind of emigrant ? You say that it is wrong for 
a State to exploit the labour of these emigrants 
and yet to refuse them permanent citizenship. 
That, I confess, is a doctrine beyond my com- 
prehension. You may as well say that I have 
no right to buy provisions from the Stores, 
when I prefer to order my wine elsewhere." 

"I do not feel so strongly opposed to State 
action," said the Duchess. " After all, the State 
has certain rights, and its motives are disin- 
terested, and its oversight will be rigorous. If 
the indentured labourers were only imported for 
public works, I should not complain. It is when 
they are brought in for the use of private firms 
that the taint of slavery appears." 

Lady Lucy laughed. "Well, let us argue in 
the style of the Platonic dialogues. How, and by 
means of what qualities, are we to define State 
action? And shall we include municipal action in 
this category ? And if State action is the action 
of the organised community for the good of the 
community, on what principle are we to exclude 


the action of public companies who control the 
main industries of the State ? And again " 

" For goodness' sake stop, Lucy ! " said the 
Duchess good-humouredly. "I never could bear 
the Socratic method. Its little pistol-shot argu- 
ments give me a headache. I daresay there is 
something in what you say. Slavery may be 
an inaccurate term to describe what I so much 
dislike, but in any case it involves a perpetual 
danger of slavery. If you tie up by contract 
the liberty of an individual for a term, you pave 
the way for restricting it without any contract 
for life. It is the thin end of the wedge." 

"I shouldn't use that phrase, my dear," said 
Lord Appin solemnly. "It is the worst of our 
parliamentary clich^s^ and, besides, Hardcastle has 
made it comic for ever. I was privileged to hear 
his great speech in the Lords against the De- 
ceased Wife's Sister's Bill. He declared that he 
did not object to the present measure, which was 
merely permissive. * But,' said Hardcastle, * it 
is the thin end of the wedge. Soon it will be 
compulsory, and it is my misfortune that my 
dear wife has left me without any taste for her 
family.' " 

Lady Lucy, who at most times spoke little, 
had been so stirred by the Duchess's criticism 
that she had risen to her feet, and now ad- 


dressed the company from beside Carey on the 

''Susan does not mean what she says. She 
is only repeating the arguments of her party, 
like a pious brigand who mumbles a paternoster 
before robbing a coach. Her last phrase is typi- 
cal of a frame of mind which is very common and 
very hopeless. You are not to embark upon a 
scheme, however clearly you define its limits, be- 
cause of its possible maleficent extension. I can- 
not understand the creed. If we believed in it 
all energy and progress would cease. We should 
sit like Buddha, twirling our thumbs, afraid to 
move a muscle lest we blundered. Not that any 
one seriously holds this faith. They imagine 
they do, because they are confrised and slack, 
and have never taken the pains to think out what 
words mean. That is one class of my opponents. 
The others frankly detest the Empire, and hide 
their bias under the cloak of humanitarian ten- 
derness. They hate colonial indentured labour, 
as Macaulay's Puritans hated bear-baiting, not 
because it does harm to the labourer, but be- 
cause it does good to the colony. 

"The honest souls who dread the bugbear of 
slavery need not concern themselves. Slavery, 
which means that one man is at the mercy of 
another's caprices, will never raise its head again. 



Even though it had done no ill to the slave, it 
was economically and morally ruinous for the 
master. No 1 what we have to do is to save 
men from the far more relentless tyranny of 
circumstance. The bondage of things, believe 
me, is more cruel than the bondage of men. I 
call a dock-labourer in Poplar, who sees no hope 
for himself or his children, a slave. I call men 
slaves who, whether they own their land or not, 
are living always on the brink of starvation. But 
I call him a free man who sells his labour under 
contract for a term of years that he may earn 
enough to make his HveUhood secure. I grant 
you that liberty is beyond price ; but, like Burke, 
I want to see a * manly, moral, and regulated 
liberty.' How often must it be repeated that 
fireedom is not the absence of restraints, but a 
willing acceptance of them, because their purpose 
is imderstood and approved." 

Lady Lucy's quiet voice had risen to that pitch 
of fervour which betrays the natural orator. As 
she stopped, she looked with some little embar- 
rassment at the Duchess, and with a sudden 
movement sank on the floor beside her chair and 
took a hand in hers. 

" Please forgive me for scolding you, Susan 
dear! But you know you deserved it. You 
have stiU got the General Election in your ears, 
and somehow its odious phrases make a fury of 


me. I don't blame any one for talking nonsense 
at home, but one must leave it behind at 

"I am not convinced," said the Duchess. 
"Your principle may be right, but all your 
applications are wrong. And I am far from 
being sure about your principle. Without being 
a dogmatic individualist, I protest against the 
idea of the State incurring such vast respon- 
sibilities as providing employers with labour 
and moving populations about the world. I 
admit that the province of the State has been 
widened, but such an insane stretching of bound- 
aries seems to me to court disaster." 

" Your fears always make me nervous, Susan," 
said Carey, "for you have an uncanny instinct 
for being right. But I think I can persuade " 

He was not permitted, for the Duchess rose 
and held before him protesting hands. "No, 
Francis, you shall not lecture me. And I promise 
in return to talk no more platform stuff. Besides, 
I am to be left alone after to-morrow with you, 
and you will have every chance to convert me. 
. . . Dear, dear, how solemn we all look! A 
Social Science Congress is out of place in a tur- 
quoise boudoir. That little Watteau shepherdess 
looks ready to weep with boredom. If there 
were such things as card-tables in this room I 
might think of bridge." 



The whole party, men and women, breakfasted 
at the same hour next morning, most of them 
with that look of mingled unrest and high spirits 
which marks the expectant traveller. All their 
clothes spoke of the road, though the various 
styles showed that that road was not the same 
for every one. Those who were to stay behind 
— the Duchess, Lord Appin, and Lord Launces- 
ton — had the bland air of ease and proprietorship 
which all steadfast things wear in a changing 
world. The clock-work regime of Musuru made 
bustle impossible. There was no running about 
of maids and valets, no ringing of beUs and con- 
fused directions. Carey consulted a paper in 
his hand, and now and then gave an order to 
a noiseless servant. The vast size of the house 
prevented the guests from catching any unsettling 
intimations of departure. 

"We are now," said the Duchess, to whom 
breakfast was a cheerful meal, "about to begin 


the inter-act in our comedy, I should like to 
know, before we scatter, what point we have 
reached in our discussions. We have talked 
about a great many different things, and on the 
whole I think we have been fair." 

"When Susan calls any one fair," said Lord 
Appin, "she means that he is a little biassed in 
her own favour." 

" Of course," said the Duchess, " I have that 
complete candour which does not mind confess- 
ing a slight lack of it. We won't quarrel about 
words. We have examined home politics and 
found them largely at war about irrelevant 
issues. For myself, I think that we overstated 
the case, but I have no complaint against our 
positive conclusion — that Imperialism meant the 
treatment of all our problems on a wider basis. 
Then we took up certain questions in detail. 
Some, such as the kind of imperial constitution 
we must look forward to, and the kind of ad- 
ministration the Tropics will require, were im- 
perial questions in the strictest sense — new 
conundrums which the fact of empire calls into 
being. Others, such as the proper way of 
remedying our social disorders, were ordinary 
home problems discussed from the imperialist 
standpoint. Am I right, Francis ? You always 
said I had a logical mind." 


Carey nodded, and the Duchess continued. 

" I don't want to be unreasonable, but it seems 
to me that the subject wants a broader handling. 
I am old-fashioned enough to believe in principles. 
I want the principles, and not the details, of em- 
pire. Stop me if T am talking nonsense, please, 
for I never pretended to be a philosopher. But 
tell me, some one, if the orthodox way is not to 
get the general principles clear and leave the 
treatment of specific points to be deduced from 
them. Hugh, will you get me some cold 
partridge ? " 

" My complaint," said Mr Wakefield, " is just 
the opposite — I am in no great hurry for prin- 
ciples. A vague philosophy of empire seems 
to me of the slenderest value at the present 
moment. Wait till we have penetrated some 
distance into the new country before we begin 
to map it. It is surely oiir business to have 
a clear policy on the different imperial questions, 
— that is to say, on every phase of our political 
life, — and having got that, to consider the best 
way and means of forcing it upon the world. 
That is the omission which I complain of. We 
all know roughly what we mean by Imperialism. 
What I want to know is how to make the ideal a 
fact, to exchange Imperialism for Empire. We 
have discussed most of the great practical ques- 


tions except that of the tariff — and I am content 
to leave that alone for the moment. But how 
are we to set to work to enforce our solution ? " 

"If you know what Imperialism is," said Lord 
Appin, " you know more than I do. I don't think 
your complaint can be admitted, Wakefield. As 
Carey declared a fortnight ago, we are here to get 
om* minds clear. We are not in office with a 
solemn mandate to reconstruct the Empire. Our 
business is to create opinion. Our works, to 
adopt the old distinction, must be light-giving 
before they can be fruit-bearing." 

" Then what better are we than other framers 
of barren Utopias ? " asked Mr Wakefield, in the 
act of assaulting a ham. 

"The distinction is easy. A Utopia is a 
scheme of things which is possible but not 
practicable. There is nothing in it inherently 
inconceivable, but it demands a change of condi- 
tions so complete as to be beyond reasonable 
hope. The empire we wish is not only possible, 
but practicable. We have all the elements of it 
before us. It only requires a slight adjustment 
of things as they are to make it a reality. If, 
then, it needs no magician's wand to change our 
dream into fact, but only a touch here and there, 
siu*ely it is our first duty to see that the dream 
is clear and complete. Once that is accomplished. 


once something has been prepared which the 
mind of our people will accept as its creed, then 
with an easy conscience we can leave the rest to 
the hacks and journeymen of politics." 

"There's something in what you say," Mr 
Wakefield admitted. " I don't ask for office- 
bearers, a committee, a list of members, and a 
telegraphic address. There is a foolish matter- 
of-factness as well as a wise. But I think we 
should turn our attention to methods as well 
as to ideals. All about us lies a stubborn and 
unregenerate world. Though we speak with the 
tongues of men and angels we shall not be 
listened to, unless we prepare for ourselves a 

"Again, I say, that it is not our business. 
Imperialism is not a propaganda which needs to 
be canvassed like an election policy. It will find 
acceptation when it is acceptable — not before. 
Our trouble is that ours is still a cryptic faith, 
unformulated and incoherent. Our task is to 
bring its meaning to light, first for our own 
sakes and then for our people's. One man with 
a clear mind is more of a dynamic force than a 
dozen well-organised guilds for the dissemination 
of platitudes. When our symposium is at an 
end and we go back to the world, then by all 
means let us talk about methods. But do not 


let US confuse ourselves here by any obeisance to 
that intolerable fool, the * practical man/ " 

"That is all very well," said the Duchess, 
"but nobody has answered my question. I am 
content that we should discuss empire without 
any eye to the ways and means of speedy real- 
isation. But I am not content that we should 
settle isolated details and leave our principles all 
vague and inconclusive." 

*' L'ineptie" Lady Flora quoted wickedly, 
" consiste d vouloir conclure" 

The Duchess laughed. "A very apposite 
quotation, my dear, but I am not to be silenced 
by a tag from a French novelist. Francis, give 
me some comfort." 

" I am quite ready to defend our course," said 
Carey. "A question so vast and so subtle as 
ours — one, too, which has a bearing on every 
interest of our mortal life — cannot be treated in a 
mechanical way. It would be easy for us to pass 
a string of dapper resolutions, but, if we did, we 
should leave things as we found them. Principles 
and axioms we have, but they will only emerge 
when we have re-thought the conditions of our 
new world. We must creep before we can walk, 
and feel our way humbly in the mysterious 
twilight of dawn. We shall make many 
mistakes in that half-light, for the objects are 


blurred and the morning haze is stiU on the 
hills : but at least we can learn something of the 
nature of the land, and we can tell where the 
east lies. All of us have slightly different 
standpoints, different principles, and different 
prejudices. When a man lays down a dogma he 
is bound to colour it in a large degree by his 
temperamental bias. The colouring is probably 
unconscious, but the result is that truths appear, 
not in their white light, but all shot across with 
rays from the thinker's personality. There is a 
v^t deal of irrelevant stuff in them, which is 
dear to some minds and antipathetic to others. 
Now, the best way, in my opinion, to get rid 
of this embarrassing surplus is to let the various 
temperaments conflict, for out of such conflict 
emerges the ultimate agreement. Ideals ex- 
pressed crudely and summarily in conversation 
may be far from the perfection of a dogma 
patiently elaborated in the study. But they will 
have the merit of life, and the strife of living 
things always bears fruit in the end. Our object, 
as I said before, is to get our minds clear, not to 
frame a political catechism. And if this is so, 
then the minds must speak in their own accents, 
for it is only when we have understood wherein 
we differ from each other that we can realise 
wherein we agree. There is a method which 


philosophers call dialectic — the attainment of 
harmony by the reaction upon each other of 
opposing theories — and the plan we are following 
is in its way a homely kind of dialectia Clearly 
we could not begin by laying down principles, 
for they would have been intelligible only to the 
man who laid them down. But at the start we 
found we were agreed, not on our axioms, but on 
our attitude. Imperialism, we decided, was the 
realisation of new conditions for all our problems, 
an enlarged basis, and fuller data. We did not 
attempt to find an answer to any of the great 
political questions : we only indicated the lines 
on which the answer must be sought. Imperial- 
ism, so ran our conclusion, is a spiritual change. 
We next looked at some of the simpler results 
which flow from the acceptance of the fact of 
empire, — especially the need for a new machinery 
of State, — and we applied the conception to our 
eternal labour problem, not to solve it, but to see 
how far it lit the path to a solution. But the 
kernel of our inquiry still awaits us, though we 
have cracked the shell. We have all by this time 
got a rough idea of what is the general meaning 
of the imperial attitude. But we must under- 
stand more fully the nature of the spiritual 
change we have talked of. I suggest, therefore, 
that we look at some of the great compartments 


of life and see how our conception will apply. It 
is a political conception, remember, but since 
politics in their new meaning are so intimately 
inwoven with life, we may learn something of its 
meaning by examining its bearing on art and 
conduct. And then, having got some under- 
standing of the concrete significance of our ideal, 
we can hazard a fuller definition. So you shall 
have your principles, Susan, but at the end 
instead of at the beginning." 

''And in the meantime," said the Duchess, 
" we are to be assisted to understand what you 
call * the concrete significance ' — odious phrase ! 
—of Imperialism by going off into the real 
wilderness for three weeks. I daresay we shall 
get the atmosphere of empire into our souls, 
but I shall be surprised if some of us don't 
get fever into our bones. I do hope you have 
been carefiil, Francis. I don't want Musuru to 
end as a nursing home." 

"There is just a chance of fever for those 
who go to Ruwenzori, but I think it may be 
avoided, and in any case it would be slight. 
The other expeditions are as healthy as a 
cruise in the North Sea. Shall I tell you the 
plans ? " 

Carey had privately arranged with each mem- 
ber of the party as to how the next weeks 


should be spent, but no one had been permitted 
to divulge the arrangement. Hence, while all 
knew their destinations they had no inkling of 
who their companions might be, and their host's 
announcement was awaited with much interest. 
" First of all the Duchess stays on at Musuru 
with me ; and Lord Appin and Lord Launceston 
keep us company. Lady Warcliff is going to 
Aden by the Austrian Lloyd to meet Sir Arthur 
on his way home from India. Mrs Deloraine 
was anxious to explore the East Coast, and Mr 
Wakefield wanted to have a look at the South 
African colonies, so they will join one of my 
yachts to-morrow at Mombasa. Mrs Wilbraham, 
Mrs Yorke, and Mr Lowenstein are going too, 
and I think they should be able to get as far 
as Durban, and spend three or four days ashore. 
I am a little doubtful about the next expedition, 
which is Astbury's idea. He and Graham and 
Marjory and Lady Lucy propose to go off to 
Ruwenzori, and make an attempt to ascend 
Kiyanja. It is well worth doing, for there is 
no stranger or lovelier mountain scenery on 
earth, but it is a long job, and the country 
before you reach the Mubuku valley is a little 
wearing. However, I have collected for them 
a good caravan, they can cross the lake in the 
yacht to the best starting-point, and two 


Chamonix guides, who live here in the settle- 
ment, will accompany them. They took me 
up the second time the ascent was made, and 
know every step of the road« Last of all 
comes the hunting-party, — Lady Flora, Lady 
Amysfort, Hugh, and Sir Edward. Teddy still 
yearns for a good eland head, so they are going 
off to the north to look for one — first, the Uasin- 
Gishu flats, and then up towards Rudolf. Re- 
member you have only three weeks, and you 
won't be allowed to outstay your leave, for my 
men have orders to bring you back at all costs 
to Musuru twenty-two days hence. Bon voyage 
to you all, and good hunting to you, Teddy, and 
for Heaven's sake, Hugh, give up the habit of 
stalking lions with a pop-gim." 

" I wish," said the Duchess, " that I were not 
an old woman. Or, since that is a foolish thing 
to say, I wish that, being old, I did not feel so 
young. I suppose some one must remain behind 
to write to sorrowing relatives. You must be 
very kind to me, Francis, for I foresee I am 
going to be in a bad temper." 



Thaeb weeks later Lady Flora and Hus:h were 
riding with Bl«=k rei J over the great do™ 
which sweep from Musuru to the north. Their 
caravan was visible some miles in the rear, a 
small dot in the interminable expanse of green. 
The riders were facing south, and far away 
appeared the dark line which told of the 
forests which surrounded the house. It was 
a windless afternoon, but at that height the 
air had the freshness of a mountain - top. 
The world slept in the still and golden weather 
—only the sound of their horses' hoofs, and now 
and then the cry of a bird, broke in upon the 
warm, scented silence. The bent, green with 
springtide in the near distance, mellowed in 
the farther spaces to a pale gold, which stood 
out with entrancing clearness against the crystal- 
line blue of the sky. It was a plateau on which 
they rode, for to the west the tops of little hills 
showed up on the horizon, foreshortened like the 


masts of ships at sea. This sight, and the 
diamond air and the westering sun, gave the 
riders the sensation of moving in some cloud- 
built world raised far above the levels of man. 

The three weeks had worked changes in their 
appearance. In spite of veils Lady Flora had 
become sunburnt, and she had exchanged her 
prim English seat for the easy pose of the 
backwoods. Hugh, tanned like an Indian, 
wore clothes so stained and ragged that he 
looked like some swagman who had stolen a 
good horse. He caught the girl's amused eye 
and laughed. 

" I know I'm pretty bad, but I'm not so bad 
as Teddy. I wish his wife could see him at this 
moment. And I wish the whole round earth 
could behold Lady Amysfort. Who could have 
guessed that the wilds would have wrought such 
a change ? " 

" You don't know Caroline as well as I do, or 
you would wonder more. I was afraid she would 
be bored, or have a headache or something, for 
she is so accustomed to being served and wor- 
shipped that I did not think she would see any 
fun in roughing it. I suppose Mr Carey knew 
her better. But when I saw her making pan- 
cakes the first night, I knew it would be all 
right. Before we started, she was the last 


woman I would have chosen to travel with, and 
now she is the first. And that is a pretty high 
recommendation, I think." 

" Like Charles Lamb's praise — * What a lass to 
go a-gipsying through the world with ! ' I think 
so too. Well, it's all over now. Lady Flora. 
Have you enjoyed yourself?" 

" Shall I ever forget it — those magical weeks ? 
We are not going back to anything half as good 
as we are leaving behind. I know now what 
Mr Astbury meant by Nirwana, for I have 
been living in it. Do you remember when 
we camped in the little ravine above Asinyo? 
When you and Sir Edward were away hunt- 
ing all day, Charlotte and I used to climb up 
to the top of the rocks among the whortle- 
berries, and watch the shadows running over 
the plain, and get blown on by the cool winds 
from the Back of Beyond. I never knew one 
could be so happy alone. And then the even- 
ings, with the big fire and the natives' chatter, 
and Sir Edward's stories and Caroline's singing ! 
Do you remember one night we argued for hours 
about what could be done to make Ascot more 
amusing? And then we suddenly remembered 
where we were, and burst out laughing. What 
fun it was, too, to lie awake in bed, quite warm 
and comfortable, and see the stars twinkling 



through the door of one's tent, and hear the 
wolves howling to each other! I hate coming 
back — even to Musuru. 

" And in all that huge, heavenly country," the 
girl went on, " there was not one white man. I 
shall soon be as fanatical about settlement as 
Lady Warcliff. Only I am going to preach a 
different creed. Think of the numbers of young 
men of our class who have sufficient money to 
live on and nothing to do. They somehow fall 
out of the professions, and hang about at a loose 
end. But there is excellent stuff in them if they 
found the kind of life to suit them. They would 
have made good eldest sons, though they are 
very unsatisfactory younger ones. But out here 
they could all be eldest sons. They would have 
a Christian life, plenty of shooting, plenty of 
hard work of the kind they could really do well ; 
and then they could marry and found a new 
aristocracy. I don't suppose Mr Carey wants the 
new countries to be without their gentry. What 
a delightful society it would be 1 I can picture 
country-houses — simple places, not palaces like 
Musuru, — and pretty gardens, and packs of 
hounds, and— oh, all that makes England nice, 
without any of the things that bore us. There 
would be no Season, because there would be no 
towns, and everybody would remain young, be- 


cause there would be nothing to make them 
grow old." 

"Would you be one of the citizens of your 
Utopia?" Hugh asked. 

" I think I should. At least my Better Self 
would. At this moment I look on the com- 
plicated world with disgust. My tastes are half 
pagan and half early Christian. I want to have 
all the things that really matter in life, and 
nothing else. I want to be able to look out on 
everything with clear eyes and without any 
sentimentality or second-hand emotion. Do you 
know, if I spent many weeks like the last three 
I should become very like a man. I have 
caught Sir Edward's slang, and I have almost 
fallen into his way of regarding things. What 
was that odd poem he was always quoting, some- 
thing about the * wind in his teeth ' ? " 

" ' May I stand in the mist and the clear and the chill, 

Hugh repeated- 

" * In the cycle of wars, 
In the brown of the moss and the grey of the hill, 

With my eyes to the stars ! 
Gift this guerdon and grant this grace, 

That I bid good-e'en, 
The sword in my hand and my foot to the race, 
The wind in my teeth and the rain in my face ! ' 

' Be it so,' said the Queen." 

1 1> 


" Well, I am all for * the wind in my teeth and 
the rain in my face,' though it would be very 
bad for my complexion. Where does Sir Edward 
get his verses ? " 

"Heaven knows! Partly he invents them, 
and partly he misremembers things he has read. 
They are the strangest mixture. And he hasn't 
an idea who wrote what. He will put down 
some hideous doggerel to Shakespeare, and credit 
Whyte-Melville with the best things of Brown- 
ing. He argued with me for a long time the 
other day about * The desire of the moth for the 
star.' He only knew the last verse, and main- 
tained that it had been written by an Australian 
poet of his acquaintance called Buck Jones. . . . 
How long do you think this new mood of yours 
will last ? I am coming to shoot at Wirlesdon 
in November. Shall I find it gone?" 

" I don't know," said the girl dolefully. " Of 
course I shall go back and become a conventional 
young woman again. And yet I shall never be 
able to forget the other side. I shall always be 
longing for this plateau, and the sun, and the 
smell of the camp-fire. And when I see myself 
in a mirror at balls, my Better Self will say to 
my Ordinary Self, * Now you are like a thousand 
people in a crowd; but once, little goose, you 
were a woman that mattered ! ' . . . But, indeed. 


we can never get away from Musuru so long as 
Mr Carey lives. All that is delightful in the 
place is in him. I could not help thinking while 
we were on trek that the wilderness was his real 
setting, and not the splendours of Musuru. He 
broods over the country like a fate." 

''I have had the same feeling in all our 
travels," said Hugh. ** Carey has the wilds so 
much in his soul, and he lives so entirely among 
elemental things, that he has the same aura as 
this land. When I think of him it is never at 
Musuru or in London, but as I first saw him in 
Rhodesia forcing his great shoulders through the 
bush with a dusty caravan behind him. No 
divine teacher would ever bid him sell all his 
goods and give to the poor, for it would be no 
sacrifice. He sits as loose among his great pos- 
sessions as if he were a pilgrim with only a 
begging-bowl to his credit." 

"You once praised detachment," said Lady 
Flora, "and I didn't quite agree. I think it 
often means selfishness or a cold heart or a weak 
digestion. But Mr Careys detachment is the 
most wonderful thing on earth. He has such 
a fire in his own soul that he does not need to 
warm his hands at any of the blazes which we 
poor worldly mortals shiver around." 

"You know how every now and again he 


breaks out into some proverb. I remember once 
in London walking down Piccadilly, when sud- 
denly Carey came up and put his arm in mine. 
He walked with me for a hundred yards without 
speaking, and then he said in that abstracted 
way of his, * Every man should be lonely at 
heart,' and went off. He, at any rate, has the 
true spiritual austerity. Do you remember the 
story of the Italian poet's mistress, sitting at 
some fSte in beautiful clothes, when a scaffolding 
broke and she was crushed to death ? And then 
they found that beneath her silken robes she had 
worn sackcloth. The world pictures Carey with 
his power and his wealth, and notes only the 
purple and fine linen, but few can penetrate to 
that inner austerity which looks upon such things 
as degrees of the infinitely small. He is, if you 
like, a practical mystic — an iron hand to change 
the fate of nations, and all the while a soul lit 
by its own immortal dreams. As you said. Lady 
Flora, while he lives we, who are his friends, can 
never sink altogether into the commonplace. And 
when he dies we can write over him that most 
tremendous of all epitaphs — * Blessed are the pure 
in heart, for they shall see God.' " 

The darkness was gathering fast, and the 
travellers were almost on the edge of the first 
belt of forest, beyond which lay Musuru. A 


clatter of hoofs behind them made them turn 
their heads sharply, and they found themselves 
overtaken by Lady Amysfort and Sir Edward. 

"We hurried on," said that gentleman, who 
in the twilight seemed longer and leaner than 
ever, "because we couldn't stand the pace of 
those confounded mules. So we left Akhub to 
bring in the caravan. We are not more than 
a mile from Musuru, so you'd better stick that 
hat of yours straight, Hugh. You look as if you 
had escaped from some Wild West show. Do 
you mind if I push on by myself? I am very 
keen to know what has won the Leger?" 

The dinner -table that evening was a very 
different eight fro-n thet preeentS on the &Z 
night of the visit. Then every one was fresh 
from home, a little* strange and shy, inclined to 
be in awe equally of their neighbours and their 
host. A month of close comradeship in the wilds 
had made smooth the rough places, and the 
whole company had become excellent friends. 
The men were all tanned to a uniform brown, 
which in Sir Edward's case had deepened into 
a Mephistophelian duskiness, and all had the 
clear eyes and alert figures which tell of perfect 
health. Even Mr Lowenstein had so greatly 
benefited by the voyage that he showed no trace 


of weakness. The women had changed the pink 
and white of civilisation for wholesome sunburn. 
As for the Ruwenzori party, they had escaped 
fever but had left their complexions on the high 
snows, and Graham and Astbury showed faces 
so wonderfully tattered that by contrast Hugh 
looked modish and refined. 

" Francis," said the Duchess, " may I beg a 
favour ? Don't let the name of empire be men- 
tioned to-night. I want to hear all about these 
young people's doings. Besides, they will soon 
be much too sleepy to talk. Flora says she rode 
thirty mUe, tcdly." 

" First you must tell us what has been happen- 
ing at home, Aunt Susan. I haven't had time to 
read my letters. I know what won the St Leger, 
for Sir Edward has told me the news eighteen 
times, but I don't know anything else." 

" What could happen at home in September ? 
My letters are mostly firom Scotland, where 
your uncle is still saying hard things about the 
fishing. All the history manufactured lately has 
been made here. You cannot imagine the pro- 
found peace of Musuru when you are all away. 
Bob read, and Lord Launceston wrote, and Francis 
was either shut up in his den working or roving 
about the estate. I dozed a good deal of the 
day, but we all woke up in the evening, and 


talked, no politics, only simple friendly gossip. 
We made Bob read Scott aloud after dinner, 
and we got through the 'Heart of Midlothian.' 
Never in my life have I spent a more restful 
time, and now I feel like some quiet old abbess 
whose convent has been invaded by Goths. You 
must atone for the jar to ray nerves by giving 
me a faithful tale of your adventures. You may 
begin, Margaret ! " 

"Alas, nothing happened to me," said Lady 
Warcliff, with that air of mingled petulance and 
candour which was the chief of her charms. 
** Aden was a simple inferno with heat and dust. 
I saw Arthur, and tried to get him to come on 
here with me, but the call of the partridges was 
stronger than my eloquence. He hurried home, 
and I came back and stopped for two nights to 
explore Mombasa. My story is a very dull one. 
How did you enjoy the East Coast ? " she asked, 
turning to Mrs Deloraine. 

"It was all I had hoped for. We put into 
little decayed wayside ports, with a background 
of palms and green-shuttered white houses. All 
were hot and some smelt abominably, but there is 
nothing quite like them elsewhere. You feel 
around them still the romance of that greatest 
of the Crusades, the Portuguese Age of Adven- 
ture. You can picture the days when those 


fierce dark sea-captains, with half their men sick 
and their own faces haggaxd with the long 
voyage round the Cape, put into their harbours 
and said prayers of thanksgivings before the 
humble mission shrine& Those were the great 
days, when Albuquerque was conquering the 
Indies and in treaty with the Sultan for the 
Holy Sepulchre. And you can read in them, 
too, the visible record of the degeneration of a 
race. Once, in spite of heat and fever, they 
were the abodes of men. Hard-handed seigneurs 
lived in the prazoSy and the soldiers who swag- 
gered on the quays were no carpet-knights. 
But now you have a breed of dwarfish people, 
with black blood showing in their eyes and 
finger-nails, and the soldiers, in flapping trousers 
and tinsel medals, might have walked out of a 
comic opera. They have long ago forgotten 
Europe and the white man's pride, and Albu- 
querque is only a myth to swear by. The fathers 
have eaten sour grapes and the teeth of the 
children are set on edge. There is something 
about the weather, and the colour of the sea, 
and the colour of the vegetation, which speaks 
of decadence and apathy. But some places have 
found a life of their own, which has no remin- 
iscence of Europe in it. I found out Inhambane, 
Mr Astbury, with your river and boatmen and 


everything. There's no decadence there — only 
a wholesome, sleepy barbarism." 

"I did not land," said Mr Wakefield stolidly, 
"till we reached Natal. I refused to land, for 
I am depressed by the imperial failures of other 
peoples. Personally I attribute Portugal's fiasco 
to that dead- weight of Roman Catholicism which 
she carried with her. But I was much cheered 
by Natal. Some of the Ministers got up a 
dinner for me, and I made a speech in which I 
hope I gave the colony some useful advice." 

"He made a speech," said Mrs Wilbraham 
tragically, "and the name of Natal was never 
mentioned in it. Nothing but Canada, Canada." 

" How could I deliver a panegyric on a place 
m which I had only lived for two days? I 
told them about the country I do know and left 
them to draw the moral. If I had begun to 
patronise them with advice on their domestic 
affairs they would all have been in arms. When 
we get the Premier of Natal over to Toronto 
you may bet that he'll talk about Natal and 
nothing else. The secret of keeping the peace 
in the colonies is for each man to expatiate on 
his own hen-roost. Colonials have known that 
for a long time, but English statesmen are just 
beginning to learn it." 

"In another minute," said Mrs Yorke, "we 


BhaU be talking poUtics. What is your story, 
Flora ? " 

" Sir Edward got his big eland and thinks it 
a record, but he hasn't looked up Rowland Ward 
yet. There isn't really much to tell about our 
doings. We wandered along from day to day 
in perfect weather through a great green 
country. Ask Caroline." 

" I can't add anything," said Lady Amysfort. 
" It was a time of perfect rest. I thought of 
nothing in the daytime except the beauty of 
the place and the flowers and the wild beasts, 
and how good it was to look forward to dinner 
and the evening round the fire. After dinner 
we talked about everything in the world and 
rediscovered all the most profound platitudes. 
And one went to bed thinking how nice waking 
would be. It was a very happy time, but like 
all happy times it had no landmarks." 

The Duchess turned dejectedly to Lady Lucy. 
"It is what I always find. People who do in- 
teresting things have not a word to say about 
them. Surely you have something to tell me 
about the Mountains of the Moon ? " 

"Oh yes. We climbed Kiyanja, and Marjory 
nearly ended her mortal career by sliding down 
a snow-slope. It is impossible to give you any 
conception of the upper Mubuku valley by mere 


description. You have to see it to believe in 
it. Imagine a giant Alpine flora — ^groundsels like 
shrubs, heather in trees, azaleas and Alpine 
roses making a flame - coloured forest, and 
creepers of every tint blazing between the 
trunks. And at the end you come out on a 
glacier, and far up in a rocky cup there is a 
spring. It took me some time to realise that 
this was the real source of the Nile — the place 
which Alexander the Great saw in his dreams, 
and Speke and Baker thought they had found 
in Lake Victoria. All around us was a snow- 
field which might have been on the aiguilles 
above Chamonix. I have often felt the lack of 
the true geographical imagination, for I could 
not focus the place in my thoughts. The little 
trickle I drank of, instead of nmning down to 
feed some tame Swiss torrent, was the head 
waters of the greatest and most mysterious 
river in the world. . . . We camped beside it, 
and bitterly cold we found it, and then before 
dawn next morning we started for the summit. 
I thought the snow very diflScult, and it was a 
blessing to get on hard rock. In one couloir 
Marjory fell and pulled Mr Astbury out of his 
steps. They were well held, but it took us an 
hour to get them up, for we had to dig gigantic 
caverns before we got a step that was really safe." 


"Had you any view?" 

"For five minutes on the top we saw the 
kingdoms of the earth spread out beneath us. 
Then the mist came down, and we had a weary 
descent before we reached our high camp. 
Marjory and I were utterly tired and soaked 
to the bone. Do you remember that evening, 
Mr Astbury, with the rain pelting on our tents, 
after we had drunk soup and brandy and got 
into dry clothes ? You said that these occasions 
got rid of every difference of education and 
temperament and sex, and made us all elemental 
human creatures, and I quite agreed with you. 
It was worth while travelling a long way to 
hear our critical Marjory gloating over food 
like a glutton and talking wild mountaineering 
slang with the guides." 

" She's an uncommonly fine climber," said Mr 
Astbury with conviction. " There was a bit on 
the highest rocks, as bad as anything on the 
Gr^pon, and she took it like a chamois. I don't 
praise ycm. Lady Lucy, for there's nothing you 
can't do. Besides, you are an old mountaineer. 
But it gives me enormous pleasure to have made 
another convert." 

"Perhaps I should not care for ordinary 
climbing," said Miss Haystoun, who looked very 
beautiful with the flush of sunburn in place of 


her wonted pallor. " But Ruwenzori can be 
like nothing in the world. The sharp contrast 
between the rich moist glens and the cool snow 
is an intoxication in itself. Besides, why should 
I not be a lover of mountains? We have all 
in our breasts odds and ends of strange souls. 
If we were clean-cut, four-square beings we 
should not be worth talking to." 

Lord Appin nodded approval. " When I was 
a very young man at Oxford," he said, "I 
evolved what I flattered myself was a new 
system of philosophy. I called it Romanticism. 
It was a very crude system, strong on the 
aesthetic and ethical sides, but lamentably weak 
in logic and metaphysics. Its central doctrine, 
if it could be said to have one, was that truth, 
virtue, happiness, all the ideals, were attained 
by the clash of opposites. Holiness was possible 
only as the result of the struggle of the soul with 
an alien world ; happiness as the outcome of pain 
endured and difficulties surmounted. The beauty 
of art was the conquest of human genius over 
intractable matter. And romance — an abstrac- 
tion of my own which I interwove with the whole 
system — was the perpetual contrast between the 
human spirit and its environment — nobility side 
by side with baseness in one soul, or the courage 
of man transcending impossible disasters, or 


beauty flowering in a mean place. It was a 
very young man's confession of faith, and yet 
there was the glimmering of a truth at the back 
of it. It was my instinctive protest against the 
undue simplification of life. We are all a strange 
compound, and we shall never reach oxur full 
stature by starving certain parts of our nature 
of their due. What you call romance, Marjory, 
is another form of the old conflict between the 
real and the ideal, the world into which we are 
born and the world which we would recreate for 
ourselves. It involves conflict between ideals, 
but not the neglect and starvation of any. Of 
course this truth is at the bottom of our new 
conception of empire. Imperialism " 

But at this point the Duchess rose. " You are 
slipping into politics. Bob," she said. " Never 
mind Imperialism to-night, but by all means let 
us talk about romance. Letty has a fascinating 
story she might tell us if you asked her very 
nicely. ..." 

Soon the company were settled comfortably 
around the fire in the inner hall. Mrs Yorke, 
after a little pressure, had sent to her room for 
a despatch -box, from which she took a small 
manuscript book. 

" I don't know why I should bore you with 
family history," she said, " but I was once rash 


enough to tell Susan this story, and she liked it, 
and said it was an allegory and true of us alL 
I have no theories about it, except that it seems 
to fit in very well with what Lord Appin has 
been saying. So if it amuses you, you shall 
have it. 

" There was a certain relative of my husband's 
whom I shall call Sir Charles Weston. It is not 
his real name, and Lord Appin will probably see 
through the disguise, as Susan did, but I owe it 
to my self-respect not to be more explicit. He 
was an eminent lawyer — at least he made a large 
fortune in the law courts — and, above all things, 
he was an earnest Liberal. His life was published 
not so very long ago in two volumes, and I re- 
member that his biographers said that he was 
almost the last of the old stalwart God-fearing 
statesmen. They said that he lived only for the 
great causes of peace, economy, and reform. He 
left among his papers some notes, called ' Reflec- 
tions on certain modern tendencies,' which are 
not very cheerful reading. He assumes the role 
of a minor prophet, and cries * Ichabod ' to the 
future of Israel. 

" I only met him once, shortly after my 
marriage. He had disapproved of it strongly ; 
indeed there was hardly a vice which he did 
not trace to the * Americanising ' of England. 



He said that the people of the United States 
had fallen like Lucifer from their high estate, 
and the latest American he had any respect for 
was Jefferson. Once he made Henry very angry 
by telling him that all American women seemed 
to be serving behind an intellectual counter. 
However, he disapproved so much of Henry on 
every ground that one blunder more or less did 
not make much difference. I had to be taken to 
see him, and the prospect made me very nervous. 
But he turned out quite kind, and he had nice, 
courtly, old-fashioned manners, which I thought 
sweet. He was a great philanthropist, but rather 
a dictator, I fisincy, for he had no idea of giving 
the poor any choice in the way they should be 
helped. His face was like an old woman's — 
amiable, vacant, a little foolish, though he had 
moments of mental activity when a kind of 
power would come into it. His talk was one 
mosaic of moral and political platitudes ; and I 
should have said that he had never possessed 
the imagination of a cow. 

" Well, he died, full of years and honour, and 
to our amazement he left all his papers to 
Henry. We sorted them out, and the Liberation 
Society, or something of the kind, wanted to 
have his life written, so we handed over the bulk 
of them. But one little diary we kept to our- 
selves. There was a big diary in about thirty 


volumes which plays a great part in the biog- 
raphy. But the little diary which we found in 
an old safe did not appear in that work. 

" I shall never forget the day we found it. 
Henry picked it up and said, 'Another diary/ 
opened it at random, and began to read : ' Rhoda 
came to-night as I sat alone in the Purple 
Chamber. There was no lamp, and her pale 
beauty shone in the dusk like the silver of 
moonlight. I thought how in this little dancing- 
girl one caught something of the mystery ' — and 
then Henry could read no more, but sat down 
and gasped. When he found his breath he could 
only keep repeating, * The old scamp ! ' 

" We tried another page, and found an account 
of some battle that Sir Charles talked of having 
fought, and then a long tale of a mid- winter march 
on the Danube. Henry, when he heard this, ob- 
served that to his certain knowledge his relative 
had never been out of England. Last of all, we 
came on a reference to Theodora, his wife. * My 
great-aunt,' said Henry, 'was christened Eliza- 
beth Anne. There are three possible explana- 
tions of this affair. Either he was a most 
imcommon old sinner, or a most accomplished 
liar, or as mad as a March hare. I incline to 
the last.' 

" But he was wrong, for in a little while we 
hit upon the right explanation. I tbunk I. ^^& 


the first to see it, but after we had read the 
diary through, doubt was impossible. We saw 
that behind the bland Sir Charles there had 
stood another figure, Heaven knows what 
revenant from the splendid past. There were 
two souls in his body, one timid, pragmatical, 
humane, slow, and stupid — the soul of all demo- 
cratic lawyers from the beginning of time; the 
other the soul of a king, merciless, passionate, 
and incomparably able. So all the time he lived 
a double life. In the daytime he went through 
the ordinary routine. He was a great advocate 
of the reform of the criminal law, he was presi- 
dent of the London Missionary Society, and in 
the House of Commons he was famous for his 
attacks upon Tory extravagance, and especially 
upon militarism. He emptied the House, for he 
was the prince of bores. Disraeli said that he 
made a solitude and called it a Peace debate. 

" But late at night and in the early morn- 
ings and at odd moments the other soul had 
its chance. And then he was an Emperor of 
Byzantium, ruling half the world with an iron 
hand. The diary showed his accession to power, 
for to begin with he was only John Chrysaor, 
the Greneral of the Army of the East. Bit by 
bit he became the strong man in the empire. He 
won the Church to his side, and when he fought 



a great battle on the eastern marches which 
turned back the tide of Mohammedan invasion, 
he became the popular hero. The Emperor died, 
leaving an effeminate son as his successor; but 
John hurried back to New Rome, cleared out the 
mob of eunuchs and parasites, and seized the 
throne with universal goodwill. Then began a 
reign of iron, as appeared from the Utile diary. 
The Emperor John fought the Church and won, 
he subdued a Dacian insurrection, he built palaces 
and churches, he ransacked East and West for 
art treasures, and he had great dreams of restor- 
ing the unity of the empire and carrying his court 
to Rome. 

** I am not going to retell this wild story, but 
once, after I had been ill, I amused myself with 
taking the two diaries and comparing the entries. 
In the little book no year was given, but it 
seemed to correspond to a certain epoch in the 
long one, and the days and months followed as 
regularly as in the other. So I chose parallel 
passages of the same date, to show the gulf be- 
tween the two souls. 

"The first is dated June 10th. In the large 
diary he wrote — 

'" I have been in the House all afternoon. Indian 
frontier policy was discussed, and Disraeli made a 
flippant and hectoring reply to the profound argu- 


ments of Mr G . Many applauded, and, being 

unable to find a chance to speak, I came away greatly 
saddened. Liberalism for the moment is eclipsed and 
shadowed by a vulgar worship of reaction. Do these 
vain people who prate about the prestige of Britain 
ever reflect, I wonder, on the shallow foundations of 
their creed? We have taken upon ourselves re- 
sponsibilities which carry with them no increase in 
moral stature — nay, which minister to the lowest 
and most depraved elements in our nature. We 
claim a right to rule certain dark-skinned peoples, 
thereby offending against the oldest and most indis- 
putable of human rights — the right to liberty. It 
tickles our sense of authority, and d^rades alike our 
reason and our conscience. And it always brings 
war. These stay-at-home roysterers are very ready 
to unsheath the sword. Well for their peace of mind 
that they cannot realise the horrors of which they 
are, before God, the cause. The older I grow the 
deeper becomes my conviction that in these days of 
enlightenment no war can be justified. Every war — 
I do not care what its pretext — must be a blunder in 
statesmanship and a sin against the Most High.' 

"On the same day he wrote in the little 
diary — 

" ' It is the evening of the greatest day in my life. 
The blood is crusted over my eyes, my left arm is 
crippled, and I am caked in dust A quarter of my 
men are slain, but the enemy have been ground 
between the millstones. I staked everything on a 
great throw and I have won. I sent my cavalry into 
a death-trap well aware that few would return, but 
the ruse succeeded, and the Emirs found their own 
shambles before the sun set. . . • To-morrow at 


dawn five thousand captives, with the Cross branded 
on their shoulders, shall be sent to New Borne as the 
first fruits of my victory. The plunder follows, and 
I can see the weak eyes of my Imperial Master glitter 
when he sees the spoils of Damascus in his treasury. 
... I have taken the first step in the great march to 
a Throne and nothing but death can stop my pilgrim- 
age. Nay, death is an ally : he will not betray one 
who has offered him such princely bribes. . . .' 

"The strange thing," Mrs Yorke continued, 
" is that the entries in the two books always cor- 
respond. If any subject has been occupying his 
mind in the one diary it reappears in some form 
or other in the second. For instance, he made a 
great speech at a meeting at Exeter Hall to protest 
against Gordon's proposal to take Zebehr Pasha, 
the ex-slave-dealer, as his colleague. It is printed 
in foil in the Life, and the editors remark that 
*the passionate conscience of England spoke 
through its chosen mouthpiece.' In the entry 
in the little diary we read — 

" ' To-day the fruits of my Dacian wars were sold 
in the market. Fifty maids were kept for the Palace, 
and five hundred of the lustiest young men were 
enrolled in the Praetorians. New Bome will be full 
of stalwart barbarians, and the Circus enriched by 
promising recruits. Would that each year could see 
an infusion of such virile stock among our languid 
citizens ! ' 

" On September 25th he was adding to 
Fairholme, his place in Surrey, and was very 


much worried about the cost. Says the big 
diary — 

"'I can postpone the addition no longer, but I 
seriously grudge the outlay. I have taken the best 
advice I could find and have made considerable 
reductions in the estimates, but the expense still 
seems to me undue. The ground-floor of the new 
wing will be occupied by a library and a billiard- 
room, the floor above by six bedrooms, each of which 
— my wife insists — must have its own bathroom. 
Elizabeth is anxious that the housemaids shall have 
better quarters, so the top-floor will be utilised . . .' 

and so on with many tiresome details. 
" Now for the little book — 

" ' To-day the building of my summer Palace begins. 
The walls will rise level with the cliffs, and the portico 
will be open to the sea. For months ships have 
brought Parian marble and cedar logs to the little 
wharf below, and this morning the first hammer 
rang on the foundations. The great library is on 
the side facing the hills, so that I may have the open 
air even when the wind blows. There the hundred 
thousand volumes which Philotimus has gathered for 
me will be housed in cedar cabinets, and there I may 
find peace to wrestle with the problems of the state. 
It has been my order that the work should proceed 
by night and day, and the torch-lit dusk will be a 
sign to Theodora of my love, for it is for her sake 
alone that I burden my soul with trifles/ 

"Which," said Mrs Yorke, "brings us to 
Theodora. The Emperor John had a wide choice 
of princesses, but he imitated Justinian in falling 


in love with a slave-girl who was also a popular 
actress. He married her, and judging by the 
diary, she seems to have led him a pretty dance. 
She had other lovers, and there is a really horrid 
passage in the book where he describes the 
revenge he took on the man he found in the 
Empress's boudoir. The two most piquant con- 
trasts in the diaries concern the two women 
whom he thought he loved. On January 17th 
we read in the big diary — 

" ' I have just returned from the churchyard where 
all that is mortal of my dear wife was this afternoon 
laid to rest. Even in my private diary I cannot write 
the thoughts which are now surging in on my mind. 
The sense of loss has crippled my power of reflection 
and drugged my memory. For forty years she was 
my comrade and friend, the sharer of every hope and 
every sorrow. Elizabeth was one of those rare women 
whose price is indeed above rubies. In her husband's 
work and in the calm atmosphere of the home her 
sweet, pure domesticity found perfect content. No 
passion ever ruffled the calm surface of her soul. As 
I think of her, I realise how unstable a foundation 
for wedded happiness is the volcanic love which 
modern poets prate of. Mutual respect, a vivid 
interest in the personality of each other, a gentle 
and constant affection, are the only guarantees of 
that private tranquillity which enables a man to face 
the rough fortunes of the outer world. Passion ! 
The word should be expunged from our language, 
for when it is not begotten of folly and weak emotion 
it is first cousin to morbidity and vice.' 



passages, for the &\ 
Byzantine. And \ 
for the Emperor J 
Stre politiqiLe. He 
which shall be ha 
treasures that he wL 

"'These dogs of t 
again besought me to 
the sacrosanctity of i 
shared with a dancin! 
the choice of an Emp 
angel, by the Most I 
you a new earth. Cit 
into dust to make a ps 
white hand shall fling 
Together we will sw 
we have crushed the 
dotards of Italy, our 
you and I, little one, 
from *^^ — • 


But how I wish that I had known that all the 
while, when he was talking platitudes at Henry, 
one-half of him was revelling in such a dream ! " 

"And the moral of that is?" asked the 

** Surely, Susan," said Lord Appin, "that we 
are such very composite creatures that, as Mar- 
jory said, we should be very shy of dogmatising 
on each other's natures. That, I suppose, is the 
worst platitude I have ever uttered, but then, 
all morals are platitudes, and you asked me for 

" Well, I think they were both very unpleas- 
ant characters — especially the Emperor John. 
Sir Charles was at least respectable." 

" Really, Aunt Susan," said Lady Flora, " we 
have all got to the stage of talking like Alice 
in Wonderland. Don't you think it is time to 
go to bed?" 



The evenings had grown milder, and after dinner 
it was possible to sit in one of the airier draw- 
ing-rooms which opened on the stoep. So soft 
was the weather that the great windows were 
left half open, and through them blew scented 
wafts from the gardens. 

Mrs Deloraine's beautiful head was silhouetted 
by a little lamp against an ebony screen. She 
arranged some papers on a table beside her and 
began to speak in her curiously gentle voice. 

" I have been given my orders by Francis, and 
I can't disobey them. But I hope you will be 
a very charitable audience. I am not a contro- 
versialist, and, though I have written a little it 
is very hasty and imperfect, and I shall have to 
supplement it as best I can. I want to speak 
about the bearing of our creed upon the aesthetic 
side of life, and my only claim to speak on the 
subject is that I was warned that I should be 
expected to deal with it, and I have been trying 



to think it over on our Ruwenzori trip. Moun- 
tains give one a hill -top prospect, but they 
do not help one to put ideas into a clear 
system. So if what I say is very full of loose 
ends, you must remember the mountains and 
forgive me. 

" I know no pocket definition of Art. But as 
I understand it, it is the quest of beauty under 
certain conditions. All honest work, all right 
conduct, all true speech, have beauty in them, 
and the worker and the speaker are in one sense 
artists. But in its usual acceptation it means a 
conscious quest, where beauty is the goal sought 
for its own sake, and not the attendant of an 
alien ideal. And this beauty must be presented 
in terms of our common life. Poetry must be 
written in some tongue familiar to mankind ; 
painting works through the homely medium of 
paint and canvas, and makes its appeal to eyes 
accustomed to the rough world ; music is con- 
tained in notes within the range of the human 
ear. In a deeper sense, too, Art is rooted in life. 
For its material must not be sought in some 
rarefied world, or even in certain carefully defined 
provinces of that world which we know. Our 
poetry must not come from the stars or the Far 
Islands, but fi:om the men and women we see 
daily, and the warm breathing life which we 


call *rear because we cannot escape from it. 
To Art nothing can be unclean or common, pro- 
vided it has the warrant of reality. If we limit 
ourselves by any of the many conventions which 
have stifled growth, and say that Art can deal 
only with the fortunes of gentlefolk, or, at the 
other extreme, of peasants ; that Art belongs to 
civilisation and is urban at heart, or that it is 
natural and untamed and can be foimd only in 
the wilds ; that it must deal with things fair 
and comely or only with the ugliness and tragedy 
of life, — then we sin against its catholicity and 

'' But all this is only to define the material and 
to leave out the spirit. The realist is so absorbed 
in the variety and multiplicity of the world, that 
he imagines that in a dull chronicle of details he 
has fulfilled the purpose of the artist. But the 
essence of Art is that it is creative. It brings 
into the wilderness the shaping spirit of imagin- 
ation, and by selection, by a deeper instinct, it 
shows us harmony in chaos, nobility in the 
squalid, and a fugitive poetry in the common- 
place. The temporal, in the hand of Art, takes 
on the guise of the eternal. The ordinary man 
sees in a passing face comeliness, or want, or 
vice, or misery, but when fixed on the canvas 
of a master the original is forgotten, and the 


whole tale of mortal passion is enshrined in that 
face for the seeing eye. Art is the revolt against 
the bondage of the superficial, the accidental, and 
the trite. It means always a spiritual adventiu-e 
and the conquest of new worlds for the mind — 
worlds none the less new because they are the 
re-creation of the old. Every one has known 
what it is to visit a place many times and find 
it dreary and uninspiring, till one day comes an 
hour of illumination, and the common fields and 
woods are touched with a light that never 
leaves them. Art brings this fairyland gleam to 
life, and we realise that it is no importation 
fi:om without but life itself laid bare in its pro- 
foundest meaning. 

" I am one of those who hold the orthodox view 
about Art. Its purpose to my mind is not 
merely to inform, or merely to delight, but to 
illumine. I believe that there are fixed laws of 
beauty, canons for the artist which are as eternal 
as beauty itself. But we need not delay now 
to discuss these ultimate questions of sasthetics. 
The truth I wish to enforce is, that while the 
canons of Art may be limited and stationary the 
subject-matter to which they apply is endless 
and ever growing. Its boundaries are extended 
with each addition to the world's knowledge. 
To my mind the worst crime against the laws 


of Art is the attempt to limit their sphere of 

" For mark what happens. We are left with a 
weary catalogue of things which Art may play 
with. And because a wall has been built round 
them, they are divorced from the rest of life, and 
become in themselves a phantasmal world. Their 
roots are no longer in reality, and therefore there 
can be no growth. The artist becomes a man- 
ipulator of mechanical toys, very subtle, exquis- 
itely clever, and utterly futile — a purveyor of 
second-hand emotions and academic tragedies. 
The Muses become either genteel spinsters or 
stupid housemaids. For you cannot subdue the 
winds of the world to orderly breezes which 
never ruffle or chill, and when Art becomes 
domestic it dies. 

" I seem to find in our Art to-day something of 
this vice, not so much in creed as in practice. 
We have not the wits to see that life is a violent, 
far-ranging thing, delighting in large contrasts 
and nobly tolerant. We are too fond of little 
prettinesses, too complex, too preoccupied with 
the small intricate things to have leisure for the 
great simple things which are the root of the 
matter. So we spend our time spinning cocoons, 
excellent as cocoons go, but, if I may borrow 
Lady Flora's pet phrase about people, they 


* don't matter.' And the result is that Art 
misses that direct emotional appeal which is the 
final test of its truth. Great Art aflPects us with 
something of the emotion of life. The high rubs 
shoulders with the low, and the face of the 
laugher changes suddenly into the face of the 
seer and prophet. Cleopatra passes from banter 
with a peasant to the loftiest of human solilo- 
quies. But in our dim half-world such heights 
are beyond us. We have too little of the real, 
for we are apt to limit arbitrarily the material of 
our art, and the ideal eludes us because it belongs 
to a nobler philosophy than ours. I am afraid 
we are in danger of decadence, and our only hope 
is in finding a new world. 

" If I were a great poet I should write an epic 
on new worlds. A veil seems to lift when life is 
becoming dingy and narrow, and, behold ! the 
gleam of dawn on untravelled seas. Men sud- 
denly look up from their daily round and become 
aware of a great hope. It may be the revelation 
of a new Messiah or a new social creed, or in the 
literal sense a new world. Now, what we espe- 
cially need is the last, for our Art wants above all 
things something of that spirit which you may 
call Ionian or Elizabethan or romantic, as you 
please. It is an enlarged basis of life that we 
require, rather than a new interpretation of our 



present routine. We must be shaken out of our 
content and our cynicism, and shown that the 
earth is full of wonderful and beautiful things, 
and that the wisdom of our grandfathers has not 
exhausted it. I believe in my heart that such a 
revelation awaits us. Mankind stands at the 
end of one long epoch, and has made itself master 
of the material globe. Science has opened her 
door half-way to us, we have circumnavigated 
and explored the whole earth, but still we are 
only at the beginning. For there stUl remains 
the task of taking possession — of reshaping all 
our creeds to correspond with our new heritage, 
and remodelling our heritage on an ideal plan. 
I am only concerned with the meaning of this 
illumination for Art, and two truths seem to be 
vital. The first is that we must absorb this 
enlarged material basis and make it part of our 
spiritual life. Otherwise it remains only a mys- 
terious background, such as we find in the Roman 
decadence, while all the time we go on living 
among our stale conventions. To us, as to the 
poets of the Silver Age, the outer empire will be 
only matter for a metaphor or a jest, unless we 
draw it within the circle of our lives. The second 
is that we must carry into our new sphere the 
inherited traditions of our culture, and not jet- 
tison them as useless ballast. Art, remember. 


looks towards the future, but her foundations are 
always in the past. Otherwise we shall become 
outlaws from her kingdom, and all the freshness 
of a new earth will not avail since we have lost 
the canons of interpretation. This, I think, is 
the weakness of so much colonial poetry. The 
novelty of the matter is believed to atone for the 
absence of the great tradition in the manner. 
But the rococo phrases of Fleet Street will never 
reproduce the mystery of the wilderness. What 
is lost, however, in Art which is colonial, and 
therefore provincial, may be recovered in Art 
which is imperial." 

" I think I understand what you mean," said 
Lady WarcliflP, " but I am far from certain that I 
agree with you. I should have thought that the 
essence of empire is the indefiniteness of its 
horizon and the unexplored chances of its friture, 
whereas the essence of Art is that it works within 
clear limits. Surely, for * great verse ' we are 
taught to look to a * little clan.' Material great- 
ness is generally assumed to be hostile to spiritual 

Mrs Deloraine was always embarrassed by Lady 
WarcliflTs precision. " I know that opinion," she 
said a little nervously, "but I most profoundly 
disagree with it. Of course. Art works within 
limits and abhors loose outlines. This has been 


said a hundred times, as in Goethe's famous 
line — 

' In der Beschrankung zeigt sich erst der Meister.' 

But these limits are the eternal laws of Art's 
being and not the accidents of circumstance. 
Power and space will kill Art unless they are 
absorbed by the spirit of the artist. But that is 
not to say that when properly used they may not 
be Art's best allies. Just as asceticism is only 
possible for those who have some inner core of 
grossness in their nature, so those who would 
make Art a nun are those who are also capable 
of making her a courtesan. It is a creed whose 
spirituality is not more but less than ours. If 
we limit Art to simple men and a little nation, 
we assume that her spiritual power is so slight 
that she will be overwhelmed and coarsened by 
a richer material environment. What warrant 
have we for so low a view of the fire in her 
heart ? I grant you that in a great empire she 
walks in dangerous paths, but then the goal is 
more splendid, and it would be the part of 
cowardice to shirk the journey. 

" I do not think that in this company at any 
rate I need linger on this point. My business 
is to try to show wherein the creed which we 
call Imperialism offers Art that new world 



which she needs. I remember that when I 
was a young girl the very name of Empire 
was a hateful thing to me. All the old orderly 
life which I loved seemed to be threatened by 
these barbarians who talked in a strange jargon, 
half mercantile, half Jingo. Their Palace of Art 
seemed to be constructed on the lines of a 
New York sky-scraper, and their music was 
the thimiping of a brass band. And yet even 
then I seemed to hear behind the shouting 
a new note which haunted me in spite of my 
prejudice. As I grew older I came to live less 
in the past, and looked more to the realities of 
the world around me. Art came to be less a 
thing of dainty memories and delicate echoes, 
and more and more something solemn and 
tragic, and yet instinct with immortal humour, 
the voice of God speaking through the clamour 
of His creations. And then I felt the need 
of a wider horizon, a hope which should not 
be the perquisite of the few but the treasure 
of the humble. And suddenly I saw that I 
had been blind and deaf to a new world of 
which simple folk had long ago entered into 

" Imperialism brings into life, and therefore into 
Art, which is life's interpretation, a vision of a 
wider world. It shows us all the hard walled-in 


highroads which we had thought eternal, open- 
ing out on an upland which still retains the 
light of morning. That is the first of its gifts. 
Stale conventions, preciosity, all vapouring and 
trifling prettiness, must perish in that high air. 
Democracy, we agreed some time ago, cleared 
the way for superiority. So, too, this Imperial- 
ism of ours will clear the way for great Art 
by withering all that is petty and unreal 
There is a profound maxim of S. Augustine's, 
^Ubi magnitudo, ibi Veritas,' -a maxim which, 
like all truths, is equally true in its converse. 
Greatness and truth in Art must walk hand in 
hand. And this vision brings with it a new 
hope, and without hope there is no enduring 
quality in any mortal work. Art demands in 
its creator an abounding optimism and vitality. 
He must see beyond all the tangles and deserts 
of the way to the ultimate city on its hill-top, 
and he must go singing on his pilgrimage. 

" This new world, again, is not only a world 
of cities but of wilds. We have grown deplor- 
ably urban in our civilisation. We still talk of 
nature, but it is a garden-nature, and its interest 
for us is only in its bearing upon our petty life. 
We are always on the watch for the Apathetic 
fallacy,' and we read into the inanimate world 
some trivial human moral But nature, equally 


with man, is the cipher of the Divine, and we 
shall never fathom it until we learn that it 
has a key of its own. 

*'I mean," said Mrs Deloraine, looking up 
from her notes, "that we want a new poetry 
of nature, nature in its simplicity and vastness 
and savagery. Our modem civilisation, with 
its suburban country, gives us no scope for 
getting at the heart of the great forces which 
endure when we and all our work have perished. 
We take them as a pious opinion, something to 
make phrases about, but what chance does our 
normal life hold of any true communion? An 
ampler and newer earth will bring us back to 
the beginning of things. We shall feel the spray 
on our faces from antediluvian seas, and our lips 
will be salt with their brine. Our great poet 
when he arises will not be a Wordsworth, for 
he will be too bowed down with the wonder 
of it all to have any desire to read into it 
a system of philosophy. He will look on the 
world, I &ncy, as Homer must have looked 
on that youthful world of his, rejoicing in its 
marvels, and seeing in them the working of some 
ageless plan, and yet facing it all with that frank 
human hope which tells him that neither space 
nor time can conquer the spirit. 

" But there is no hope without mystery. The 


horizon must not be too clear if the adventurer 
is to have the true joy of his enterprise. Some- 
thing magical and beautiful must lurk behind 
the twilight haze. Art cannot rise to the 
heights, except in the consciousness of a 
destiny too infinite to be expressed in for- 
mulas. We have tried our best to materialise 
life. We have stifled it with prudential maxims, 
we have turned policy into a profit - and - loss 
account, and we have striven to analyse and 
docket the aspirations of the human heart. 
And we have failed, grossly and finally. 
Science, once the ally of the economists, has 
ranged herself on the side of the poets. It is 
because Imperialism gives us a world whose 
boundaries no man can define that it ministers 
especially to the needs of Art. You remember 
the chorus in the Bacchce: — 

' Knowledge, we are not foes ! 

I seek thee diligently ; 
But the world with a great wind hlows. 

Shining, and not from thee ; 
Blowing to beautiful things, 

On, amid dark and lights 
Till Life, through the trammellings 

Of Laws that are not the Right, 
Breaks clean and pure, and sings 

Glorying to God on the height ! ' ^ 

1 Bacchatf 1007-1010 (Mr Gilbert Murray's translation). 


" But this creed of ours has a vertical as well 
as a horizontal extension. It not only carries 
the few into a wider world, but it carries all 
classes in the State. In the true sense it is 
democratic, for its ends can only be attained by 
the union of all citizens. It cries out for a new 
sense of civic duty, a richer and more enduring 
ideal of civic well-being. Politics will cease to 
be the hobby of the few and become the duty 
and the privilege of all. So, too, the Art which 
is to come to fruit in such a State must be, as 
all great Art has been, a democratic thing. Art 
has never truly flourished when it was the per- 
quisite of a class or a sect. The minor poet 
who creates a little garden of his own, and de- 
clares that no vulgar wind from the outer world 
shall ever shake his rose-trees, stands confessed 
by his declaration as eternally second-rate. If 
a man has not the wit to be a citizen he has 
still less the wit to be an artist. In an empire 
inspired throughout with a corporate ideal we 
shall recapture for our Art something of the 
immortal simplicity of the Greek spirit, which 
did not disdain the market-place or the schools 
or the battlefield. Our Muse must put off her 
modish silks and gems, which so quickly tarnish, 
and go out like a beggar-maid to the highways 
of the world. But in the end she wiU find far 


nobler jewels, for in her eyes there will be star- 
Ught and on her brow the glory of morning. 

^'But, as I have already said, we must carry 
into the new world all that is best in our past. 
For Art at bottom is conservative. The laws 
of her kingdom are immutable, though her sub- 
jects change and her boundaries expand. The 
categories remain the same though their con- 
tent may alter. This morning I went fishing 
in a meadow on the edge of the downs. Angling 
has long been a classic sport, and Izaak Walton 
ages ago gave it a certain literary atmosphere. 
When I think of a trout-stream I think of the 
Lea or the Dove — English meadows, with clear, 
slow-flowing water, little fishing-houses on the 
bank, old country inns to lodge at, milkmaids 
and gipsy choruses, and Corydon's song among 
the willows. Or I think of some Scotch burn 
falling in golden pools, overhung with rowan- 
berries, with the scent of thyme and heather 
around, and all the magic of long tradition. 
But my fishing to-day was a revelation. Only 
the big trout and the clear water and the limpid 
air belonged to my old picture. I cast my flies 
over strange flowers, and the birds which I 
stirred were not larks or curlews. My gillie 
was a Masai hunter, who carried a gun in case 
of meeting wild animals. And when I stopped 


to rest and looked roiind, I did not see English 
woodlands or a Scotch glen, but the immense 
mystical panorama of Equatoria. I realised how, 
even in a little thing Uke a sport, it was only 
the essentials that mattered, and that it might 
be carried to any cUme, provided the spurit re- 
mained imchanged. It seemed to me a kind of 
parable for Art. She may trim her sails and 
set her helm for new seas, but the ship and the 
compass are the same as of old. Abana and 
Pharpax are running rivers like Jordan. And 
though the waters are strange, and wilder forests 
clothe unfamiliar hills, she will still hear the 
pipes of Pan among the trees, and in some 
secret glade have sight of Venus and the sister 
nymphs — 

' Panaque, Silyanumqae senem, Nymphasque sorores.' " 

Mrs Deloraine paused and looked deprecat- 
ingly at the company. '^ I am afraid that what 
I have had to say has been very confused and 
schwdrmerisch. Perhaps I can put it better in 
verse, for I am more accustomed to write in 
that form than in prose. I have here a kind 
of dialogue between Youth and the Spirit of Art, 
in which the same idea appears as I have been 
trying to expound. May I read it, if it does 
not bore you?" 


Being assured of the attention of her audience, 
Mrs Deloraine read the following poem : — 


Angel of love and light and truth, 
In whose deep eyes the stars are set, 

And in whose calm unchanging youth, 
The mysteries of the world haye met, 

What means thy forward-beckoning hand, 
The steadfast brow, the enraptur'd gaze ? 

They point me to a lonely land — 
I cannot pierce the twilight haze. 

With thee of old I walked at noon 
In gardens where the airs were kind. 

And from thy lips I read the rune 
Of joy in every wave and wind. 

We roamed blue hills of far romance, 
We worshipped at the ancient shrines : 

For us the oreads joined their dance 
At even in the moonlit pines. 

What darkling spell has rent thy skies 
And turned thy heart to steel and fire, 

And drawn across thy starry eyes 
The curtains of a wild desire ? 

Thb Spirit of Art. 

I change not I am old as Time 
And younger than the dews of mom. 

Those lips will sing the world's high prime 
Which blessed the toils when life was bom. 



I am the priestess of the flame 

Which on the eternal altar springs ; 
Beauty and truth and joy and fame 

Sleep in the shelter of my wings. 

I wear the mask of age and clime, 

But he who of my love is fain 
Must learn my heart which knows not time, 

And seek my path which fears not pain, — 

Till, hruised and worn with wandering 
In the dark wilds my feet have trod. 

He hears the songs the Immortals sing 
At eyen in the glades of God. 


Angel, that heart I seek to know, 

I fain would make thy word my stay, 

Upon thy path I yearn to go 

If thy clear eyes will light the way. 

But ancient loyes my memory hold. 
And I am weak and thou art strong ; 

I fear the blasts of outland cold, — 
Say if the way be dark and long. 

Thb Spibit of Abt. 

On mountain lawns, in meads of spring. 
With idle boys bedeck thy hair. 

Or in deep greenwood loitering 
Tell to thy heart the world is fair. 


That joy I give, but frail and poor 
Is such a boon, for youth must die ; 

A little day the flowers endure, 
And clouds o'erride the April sky. 

Upon the windy ways of life, 

In dark abyss of toil and wrong, 
Through storm and sun, through death and strife, 

I seek the nobler spheral song. 

No dulcet lute with golden strings 
Can hymn the world that is to be. 

Out of the jarring soul of things 
I weave the eternal harmony. — 

In forest deeps, in wastes of sand. 

Where the cold snows outdare the skies : 

Where wanderers roam uncharted lands. 
And the last camp-fire flares and dies : 

In sweating mart, in camp and court, 

Where hopes forlorn haye yanquished ease : 

Where ships, intent on desperate port, 
Strain through the quiet of lonely seas : 

Where'er o'erbome by sense and sin. 
With bruised head and aching hand, 

Guarding the holy fire within, 

Man dares to steel his heart and stand — 

Breasting the serried spears of fate, 
Broken and spent^ yet joyous still. 

Matching against the blind world's hate 
The stark battalions of his will : — 


Whoso hath ears, to him shall fall, 
When stars are hid and hopes are dim, 

To hear the heavenly voices call, 

And, faint and far, the cosmic hymn — 

That hymn of peace when wars are done, 
Of joy which hreaks through tears of pain, 

Of dawns beyond the westering sun, 
Of skies clear shining after rain. 

No sinless Edens know the song, 

No Arcady of youth and lights 
But) bom amid the glooms of wrong, 

It floats upon the glimmering height. 

Where they who faced the dust and scars. 

And shrank not from the fires of hate, 
Can walk among the kindred stars, 

Master of Time and lords of Fate. 

And haply then will youth, reborn, 

Eestore the world thou fain wouldst hold ; 

The dawn of an auguster mom 

Will flush thy skies with fairy gold. 

The flute of Pan in wild-wood glade 

Will pipe its ancient sweet refrain ; 
Still, still for thee through April shade 

Will Venus and her sister train 

Lead the old dance of spring and youth. 

But thine the wiser, clearer eyes, 
Which having sought the shrine of truth 

And faced the unending sacrifice. 


Can see the myriad ways of man, 

The ecstasy, the fire, the rod, 
As shadows of the timeless plan 

That hroods within the mind of God. 

Kin to the dust, yet throned on high. 
Thy pride thy honds, thy honds release ; 

Thou see'st the Eternal passing hy, 
And in His Will hehold'st thy peace. 

Mr Wakefield had listened to Mrs Deloraine's 
theories of art with an interested but puzzled 
expression. He was so wholly under the spell 
of her charm that he was prepared to take every 
word she uttered for gospel, and his sense of the 
ridiculous, which made him explosive in the pres- 
ence of the transcendental, was rapidly perish- 
ing fix)m disuse. A strenuous career at the Bar, 
and a middle age spent mainly in fiscal contro- 
versy, had not fitted him to appreciate a dis- 
course on aesthetic. But he was cheerful and 
congratulatory about the poem. 

" I know what you mean by a background of 
mystery," he said. "I wish I could take you 
up with me to the great lakes and forests of 
our northern country, and show you some of our 
voyageurs. You might make a lot out of thenou 
I think you are perfectly right in saying that 
what poetry wants is a fresh subject, and not 
something that has been hammered at by every 


poet since King David. I can no more read 
Tennyson than I can drink stagnant water." 

Mrs Deloraine looked a little aghast at this 
version of her conclusions. Sir Edward, whose 
eyes had a far-away look, said abruptly from a 
dark comer — 

" Do you know that what you have been say- 
ing is what I have been trying to think out for 
a long time ? It is what distinguishes our own 
people from any other breed of pioneer. We 
won't admit any hard-and-fast line between the 
known and the unknown, and so our horizon is 
always a little misty. The Frenchman wants to 
draw a clear line and say that all on one side is 
civilisation, and all on the other side is bar- 
barism, and he doesn't care a cent what becomes 
of it. He wants a cosy self-contained little 
kingdom, because at heart he fears the wilds, 
while we love them. Our people won't admit 
any final march where they must stop short and 
pitch their tents. They must always be pushing 
on and possessing some new country. And 
therefore there is no limit to their hopes, for 
any evening may bring them to the Land of 
Promise. There's a lot in that if you think 
it over. I don't know much about art, but 
I am sure Mrs Deloraine and I mean the same 



Mr Lowenstein intervened as if to rescue the 
unfortunate lady from Philistine approval. 

" You have said many beautiful and convincing 
things, for which I am very gratefril. Our diffi- 
culty as Imperialists has always been that, 
though the common people may hear us gladly, 
the elect wiU shrug their shoulders and turn 
away. We are in danger of making Imperialism 
purely what Mr Wakefield calls * a business pro- 
position,' and therefore of identifying it with an 
arid, mercantile view of life. The people who 
love beauty — the artists, the scholars, the poets 
— will behave towards it like a well-dressed 
woman towards a street accident — cast a glance 
of pity or dislike, and then pass by on the other 
side. I almost think that our most urgent duty 
is to insist upon the spiritual renaissance at the 
back of everything. For, properly regarded, our 
creed is a religion, and we must hold it with the 
fervour of a convert." 

Lord Launceston abandoned his seat by the 
window and came forward into the firelight to 
get himself a cigarette. 

"I think I agree with most of your conclu- 
sions," he said, looking down at Mrs Deloraine ; 
"but you will not think me dull if I put the 
thing more prosaically. We seek to show that 
empire is not antagonistic to a high spiritual 


development. I think we can go further and 
prove that it may be a positive aid. But when 
we have said that, we must be careful of going 
further. For Imperialism is in its essence a 
political thing. It is concerned with man as a 
political animal, man in the social aspect, and not 
directly with the spiritual life of the citizen. It 
provides a fuller basis for art and morality, and, 
I think I may add, religion, but in itself it is 
none of these things. It deals — it must deal — 
mainly with the formal side of life. I grant you 
willingly that the tendency is for the vie intime 
of any man to be more closely knit to the 
communal life. But there must always remain 
something which no state, however noble in its 
character, can give — that inner peace and satis- 
faction of the souL Many of us, I think, tend 
to exalt Imperialism to too high a plane, and 
seek in a political ideal that which belongs only 
to what, in the widest sense of the word, we call 
religion. This seems to me a very real danger. 
For if we make claims for our creed which it 
cannot fidfil, sooner or later we shall discredit 
it. No alchemy can turn the stones of our 
dream-city into bread for the hungry." 

Mrs Deloraine cried out in warm approval. 
^'I am so glad to hear you say that, for it is 
what I should have liked to add if I had thought 


my subject allowed of it. I feel that the over- 
statement of our creed is one of the gravest 
perils which it has to face. We must maintain 
that it has its spiritual aspect, but we dare not 
claim that in itself it will satisfy the eternal 
cravings of the spirit. We may make a new 
earth, a prosperous and happy and civilised 
earth, but if our citizens can look no further 
they will be worse off than at the beginning. 
The poor man even now, broken by want and 
disease, who can declare in his last hours that 
his Redeemer liveth, has reached a spiritual 
height to which no ideal citizenship of itself can 
ever rise. I do not wish to preach about those 
viewless things on which we all must make our 
peace with our own souls, but I ask that we 
recognise their profundity, and do not attempt 
to allot them to a creed which has no answer to 
make to them." 

'* That is the most sensible thing I have heard 
you say, Barbara." The Duchess had slept 
peacefully through the earlier discussion, and 
had awakened in time to be shocked by Mr 
Lowenstein. "Don't you see that if you con- 
found religion with politics you are falling into 
the very blunder which you were kind enough to 
say was the favourite pastime of my party ? 
You will vulgarise the one and sentimentalise 


the other. I am old-fashioned enough to think 
it impious, and, what is more to the purpose, 
it is extremely silly. There is a kind of disease 
in men's minds which compels them to break 
down all the common-sense boundary-fences and 
to turn every nostrum into a complete philosophy 
of life. Why can't they be content with the 
Here and leave the Hereafter to its proper 
exponents? Tories like Caroline are always 
telling me that politics have no principles and 
are wholly opportunist, but if they were faithful 
to their creed they would never try to stretch 
the boimds of politics so wide that they include 
provinces like religion where opportunism is 

The Duchess turned a friendly eye upon Mr 
Wakefield, in whom she believed she would find 
a supporter. Mr Wakefield, however, was too 
much a devotee of Mrs Deloraine to be willing 
to argue with his wonted brusqueness on a side 
where he was uncertain of her sjrmpathies. He 
took re&ge in a distinction. 

" Of course you are right, generally speaking, 
but then Imperialism is not quite an ordinary 
political creed. We have already defined it as 
an attitude of mind, and that implies some sort 
of philosophy of life. I think Mrs Deloraine has 
made the distinction clear. It gives us a better 


basis for art and religion, but it does not take the 
place of one or the other. I think that is true, 
although, as I have often said, I am mortally 
afraid of getting too high-falutin on the subject. 
I detest mysticism and want to keep close to 
fact, but at the same time that is no reason why 
I should make our creed narrower than it really 
is. There are many who will prefer the dessert 
to the joint, and by all means let them have it 
if it is in the bill of fare. The instinct of empire 
is towards comprehension, not exclusion." 

"Mr Wakefield has suggested the true 
parallel," said Lord Appin, who had listened to 
Mrs Deloraine with grave approval " We do 
not profess to teach a religion, but, if we are not 
theologians, we are in a sense ecclesiastics. The 
state, remember, has now taken the place of the 
mediaeval church. Once we had popes and 
bishops supervising the lives of their flock and 
making themselves sponsors for their spiritual 
well-being. But their pride crumbled, because- 
they fell into that very error against which 
Lord Launceston has been warning us, and 
sought to imprison the longings of the human 
spirit within the narrow walls of creed and 
ritual. Religion has triumphantly proved itself 
stronger than ecclesiasticism, and to-day we see 
a revolt — perhaps an unwise revolt — against all 


that savours of formality. And yet man cannot 
advance except through organised action, and 
if his Church is destroyed under one guise he 
will revive it under another. The Church in 
the Middle Ages had three great attributes. 
In the first place it was a brotherhood, a body 
of men linked together by a common faith. 
Again, it was inspired by an ideal which was 
professedly spiritual, a creed where success or 
failure was defined by other than material 
standards. Lastly, it was surrounded by an 
alien and hostile world, so that its members 
were drawn close to each other, and filled with 
a zeal which, according to our view of history, 
we label missionary or intolerant. That old 
church can never be re-established, for we have 
travelled too far from the sanctions which gave 
it strength. But we can no more do without 
a church than without a religion. Only we 
have learned nowadays that the true and 
lasting work for which such an organisation is 
adapted is rather political than doctrinal, and 
that the Seal of the Fisherman is better affixed 
to state decrees than to edicts against con- 
science. I maintain that our view of empire 
gives that empire something of the character 
of a church. We are a brotherhood banded 
together in a common quest. Our union, if 


less mystic than that which Augustine preached, 
has yet in it something not wholly human, not 
merely the sum of individual eflFort. In the 
midst of all our failures the work advances, for 
the plan is greater than the builders. Above 
all, we must achieve our desires in face of a 
stubborn and alien world. All around us are 
the frontiers of barbarism — I use the word as 
the Greeks used it. It is this environment 
which will perfect our brotherhood and give us 
something of the old crusading fervour. And 
if we have this clear purpose, not imtouched 
with emotion, our empire will be another, and 
more truly Catholic, church. Then — to use 
Plato's phrase — the quest of truth will not lack 
the warmth of desh^." 

The party had hitherto been sitting in dark- 
ness, broken only by the glow from the hearth 
and Mrs Deloraine's lamp. Now the lights were 
turned on and there was a general shifting of 
seats. Lady Flora, who had sat with exemplary 
patience through the long discussion, discovered 
that only a walk on the terrace would be suffi- 
cient reward, and carried off Hugh and Mr 
Wakefield in her train. Soon wild laughter 
and the barking of small terriers showed that 
some mischief was afoot. 

"What I feel about all that has been said 


to-night," said Mrs Yorke wearily, "and about 
everything that you all have said since you 
came here, is that Imperialism promises to be 
a very exhausting faith. It demands a superb 
vitality like Flora's or Sir Edward's. We are 
all to live at high pressure. We must try all 
our easy-going beliefs by a new touchstone, we 
must forget all our comfortable clich6Sy and we 
must never weary in well-doing. For the young, 
I grant you, it is an inspiring creed, but for a 
woman drawing towards middle life it is — ^well, 

"So is any creed worth the name," said 
Carey. "They are all counsels of perfection, 
requiring us to strain every nerve for their ful- 
filment. Of course we tire and slacken, but 
our energy revives if we have got the true fire 
in our hearts. As for growing old, I do not 
believe in the thing. If our vitality sinks in 
one direction it increases in another. You are 
a much more active man now, Appin, than 
when in your youth you slumbered peacefully 
on the right hand of the Woolsack. We can 
no longer climb mountains like Astbury, or go 
lion-hunting like Teddy, but we make up for 
it by getting rid of the preoccupations which 
distract the young. Wise men never grow up ; 
indeed, they grow younger, for they lose the 



appalling worldly wisdom of youth. Wakefield, 
for example . . ." 


But at this moment Lady Flora came 
breathlessly from the verandah. 

"Oh, Aunt Susan, do you know what those 
extraordinary men are doing ? They have made 
a kind of toboggan and are glissading down the 
steep part of the lawn into the Dutch garden. 
I daren't try it, for I know I shoidd ruin my 



Lady Flora woke early, before daybreak, and 
found it impossible to go to sleep again. The 
strange foreglow of dawn looked so attractive 
that she dressed and descended a silent stair- 
case to the inner hall, where already the house- 
boys were beginning their labours. The 
verandahs were still in dusk, but when she 
had crossed the terrace and reached the lawns 
on the edge of the hill she came into a patch 
of pale sunlight and found that the skies were 
clear and that the sun was rising over the crest 
of the downs. The place intoxicated her, so 
quiet it was, so cool and fresh and dewy. She 
drank great draughts of the delicious air, and 
wondered why she had never discovered the 
charm of early rising before. At this hour 
most people were still wrapt in dull slumber 
with a dolefid getting- up before them when 
the natural hour should have passed and the 
world become noisy and common. In this airy 


clime one's thoughts must perforce be clear and 
beautiful. Even a flower -pot looked an ex- 
quisite thing with the dew on it and the gold 
of sunrise on the dew. It occurred to her that 
it might be well if life were to be so rearranged 
that all the things which mattered were done be- 
fore breakfast. Or it might be enough, she re- 
flected, if one could attain to this morning frame 
of mind and keep it unsullied at all hours. Some 
creed might give this, or some great passion. 
And as the girl wandered through the ineffable 
colours of the awakening day she thought very 

Hugh, coming back from an early gallop on 
the moor, found her sitting on a sunny corner 
of a parapet absorbed in thought. His horse 
shied at the apparition, and the rider, who had 
been half in a dream himself, promptly came off 
and disappeared in a bed of lilies. The horse 
began to graze peaceably, and Hugh, emerging 
dishevelled and surprised, found that the Muse 
of Contemplation had changed into a laughing 

" * The lark now leaves his watery nest,' " she 
quoted. "When you have shaken your *dewy 
wing,' Mr Somerville, you might get one of the 
garden boys to take back the horse to the stable 
and come for a walk with me. I've been up 


since before daybreak, and I don't a bit want 
to go back yet." 

Hugh commandeered the services of the nearest 
gardener, and with Lady Flora wandered back 
across the lawn. 

"What brought you out of doors at this 
time?" he asked. 

" Restlessness and this glorious morning. And, 
once out, I made up my mind that I must find a 
creed. I had nearly got one when you came 
tumbling off your horse among the lilies. Do 
you remember the contract we made our second 
day here? You were to explain to me all the 
things I could not understand. Well, I haven't 
bothered you much, for I foimd I was cleverer 
than I thought, and I followed most of the dis- 
cussions quite easily. But last night Barbara 
stumped me completely. It wasn't so much 
what she said, for I understood her meaning 
more or less, but she and all the others seemed 
to find so much more in it than I could see. I 
am not an artist of any kind, or ever likely to 
be, but I agree with her argument about the 
new field for art which empire gives. And of 
course it makes life pleasanter all round to have 
big horizons and a great deal to do. But in 
spite of all that Lord Launceston said, I think we 
are making more out of the creed than reason 


allows. Though we deny it in words, yet we 
behave as if this were a new religion instead 
of merely a better groundwork for one. We 
can't turn politics into something which satisfies 
aU our longings and fills all our life." 

Hugh looked gravely at his companion. " You 
have your aunt's appalling clearness of mind. 
I agree with every word you say. What 
next ? " 

" Well, I want to know how I am to find the 
trait d! union f For I have become an Imperial- 
ist, you know. I have got an interest so absorb- 
ing that I do not think I can ever be bored again. 
I suppose there are things I can do to help, for 
you said that in our new state no one would be 
left out of citizenship. But Barbara and Mr 
Carey and Lord Launceston — but especially 
Barbara — make me feel as if Imperialism shaded 
off into all manner of beautifiil and far-off things, 
and I can't see it. I have my own private 
dreams, but they are my own, and I can't fit 
them in with politics. I wish I could, for I am 
sure the happiest people have only one creed 
which covers everything in their lives." 

Hugh began to laugh, but stopped short at 
the sight of the girl's serious eyes. 

" Please forgive me. I didn't mean to be rude, 
but I was never so surprised before. What you 


want is a synthetic philosophy, and that you 
should want it and know that you want it 
staggers me. You are a very remarkable yoimg 

" I will not be treated like a child," said Lady 
Flora indignantly, " and I will not have philo- 
sophy talked to me. I agree with Mr Wakefield 
that metaphysics are a bore, and only useful in 
staving off a difficidt question. I have no more a 
desire for a synthetic philosophy than for the 
moon. But you might give me a Christian 

" I have given it you. You must find a philo- 
sophy, and it will take years in the finding. 
Don't you see, Lady Flora, that your question 
goes to the very root of all things ? We want 
a key to life, an ideal which will leave out 
nothing and completely satisfy the hunger in 
our hearts. When you were a child and in- 
vented fairylands you brought into them every- 
thing you loved — cats and dogs and toys and 
people — and so with the bigger fairyland we 
make when we grow up. Everything shades 
sooner or later into metaphysics, and the humblest 
diflBculty — if we press it home— brings us within 
hailing distance of the Infinite. Well, I have no 
philosophy to teach you. Lord Appin to-night 
is going to give us what he calls ^some ele- 


mentary notes on the speculative basis' of Im- 
perialism, and I hope you will be very kind 
and keep Mr Wakefield quiet in a corner. 
But no ready-made philosophy will be of any 
use to you. If you and I were great geniuses 
we might sit down and think it all out from 
the beginning, but we have neither the time 
nor the patience for that. But the synthesis, 
remember, must either be made honestly by 
ourselves or come to us as a slow distillation 
from experience. Years, you know, bring the 
philosophic mind, and a certain unity creeps into 
life without our knowing it. Mrs Deloraine is 
absorbed in art, and she is also in love with a 
new political creed, and the two merge in a 
common ideal So with Carey. His interest in 
empire is so consuming that everything in his 
life is brought into line with it. It is not the 
residt of a conscious philosophy, for the thing 
is psychological rather than logical. The nexus 
is the human character." 

" Yes," said Lady Flora, " that sounds as if it 
might be true. So you advise me not to trouble 
about the high-falutin side, but to leave that to 
my old age. And yet — I don't know. A morn- 
ing like this makes one feel as if it were the only 
side that mattered. And after all, unless we can 
keep the morning freshness we must fail, for to 


create our new world we must have uncommon 

" We must have vitality, but each must get it 
as best he can. We all of us, if we are to keep 
up our heads in the world, must have some secret 
fountain of youth within us. But an arbitrary 
unification of life will only choke the springs. 
Wakefield said a thing to me at the beginning of 
our visit, and I am daily growing more convinced 
of its truth. He said that all Imperialists woidd 
add their own poetry to the facts, but that it was 
only on the facts themselves that we could expect 
agreement, and if we tried to dogmatise on the 
poetry we should quarrel at once. So by all 
means let us try to be prosaic, for I don't think 
any of us will sink too deeply into prose." 

" Mr Wakefield said that ? What a wise old 
Philistine he is! He has asked me to go and 
stay with him next year in Canada. He says 
that people will call me either *Lady Brune' 
or * Flora,' and that I shall be an enormous 
succ^s. And we are going out to camp in the 
northern woods, and fish the lakes, and voyage in 
canoes, and have the time of our lives . . . Oh, 
by the by, Mr Somerville, you know you promised 
me a motto for my journal of our trek. It must 
be Greek, to look learned, and it must be about 
camping. Have you found one?" 



Hugh rummaged in the pockets of his coat. 
"Yes — the very thing you want. Its Greek — 
latish to be sure, and it comes out of the Anth- 
ology. The sportsman who wrote it was called 
Antiphilus of Byzantium, and flourished in the 
reign of the Emperor Nero. I have done a sort 
of translation, rather rough and free. Here 
it is : — 

" Oive me a mat on the deck 

When the awnings sound to the blows of the spray, 
And the hearthstones crack with the flames a-back, 
And the pot goes bubbling away. 
Give me a boy to cook my broth, 
For table a ship's plank laid with a cloth 

(But never a fork or knife) ; 
And after a game with a rusty pack, 
The bo'sun's whistle to call us back — 
That's the fortune fit for a king, 
For oh ! I love common life ! " ^ 

After dinner, by a general impulse the party 
sought the library, where Lord Appin ensconced 
himself in the central arm-chair. 

" I don't want any lamp," he said, " for I have 
nothing to read. My business, as I threatened 
long ago, is to try to put to you the fundamental 
question in Imperialism. If we cannot make good 
our defence on it, then we have surrendered the 
key of the position. 

1 Anth. Pal. ix. 646. 


" But first of all, there are a few preliminaries 
to be got over, and I am afraid I must take you 
through some elementary philosophy. I apologise 
to you, Launceston, for what must seem very 
trite and obvious ; but unless one condescends to 
platitudes now and then, there must be gaps in 
the argument. Let me relieve Mr Wakefield's 
mind by saying that I am not going to talk 
Hegelianism or any other creed. What I have 
to say is admitted by all philosophers, and belongs 
to the world's common stock of speculation. 

" I remember that once in my public career I 
was twitted with being a philosopher in politics. 
My critic urged that philosophy imfitted a man 
for making the clear distinctions which are the 
working hypotheses of life. Good is good, he 
said, to the average man, and bad is bad, and on 
the distinction depends the moral life. Progress 
and reform are real and ascertained benefits, and 
on this assumption the State is governed. But 
the philosopher, he went on, will tell you that 
black is black only because in some sense it is 
also white; that vice is only virtue regarded 
from another plane of thought ; that there is no 
truth in this or that isolated dogma, but only in 
something which he calls a system ; that progress 
is illusory, since reaction may be one of the forms 
through which the Infinite is moving towards 


realisation. All differences are smoothed away 
by him in some trumpery unification, and yet it 
is on the reality of these differences that human 
aspirations and human happiness depend. There- 
fore, my critic argued, the phOosopher must be 
kept out of politics like a bull out of a china shop, 
for if he have a persuasive tongue he will end by 
corrupting the manhood of the nation. I remem- 
her that he became quite witty on the subject. 
*Let us remove,' he cried, *such philosophers 
from public life. There are places already ap- 
pointed for their reception. Lunatic asylum is 
a vulgar word, so let us change their name to 
contemplative retreats. There let them live, 
happy and well cared for, hobnobbing with the 
Infinite, and leave the management of human 
affairs to unsophisticated human nature ! ' 

"My friend woidd have been surprised coidd 
he have known how cordially I agreed with him. 
The philosopher has no business in politics, unless 
he can bring himself to the mode of thinking 
which that province requires. The pastime of 
bursting old, but valuable, bottles by putting 
new wine into them will not commend itself to 
the sane man. Then what is the mode of think- 
ing which is proper to the political life ? 

" I do not propose to trace the history of thought 
from its first psychological embryo. Let us take 


the stage where it is manifest to all the world, 
the stage which is indicated when we speak of a 
man's having common-sense, or a practical mind, 
or a great intelligence. I do not wish to use 
German words, so let us call it the sphere of the 
Understanding. Now the essence of this mode 
of thought is that it insists upon clear divisions, 
upon the distinctions rather than upon any funda- 
mental unity in things. A vast datum is pre- 
sented to it by experience, and its business is to 
classify and arrange that datum. The distinctions 
which the Mind makes it regards as hard and 
fast — it must, for it has to act upon them. It 
acknowledges principles of union within such data, 
but the union is mechanical and external, like 
the classification of devices in heraldry. It refuses 
to theorise, to go one step further in its synthesis 
than practical needs require. Let us take some 
of the ordinary political counters. Law, for ex- 
ample, is not and does not profess to be complete 
justice. It is a working solution under which 
certain things are called right and certain things 
are labelled wrong, and have appropriate penalties 
attached. The good lawyer is he who can make 
the most of the mechanical unity within such a 
system ; not he who pushes the analysis too far, 
and gets into metaphysics. But legal dogmas, 
such as they are, must be treated as final ; the 


half-way house of thought must be regarded as 
the ultimate goal. Or take Liberty, that old 
will-o'-the-wisp of man. The Understanding, 
looking to the common needs of the State, declares 
that on one point the individual shall be un- 
trammelled, and on another restricted. It does not 
examine the conception which is provided for it ; 
it only takes steps to give it a practical meaning. 
So too with other general conceptions, such as 
education, national character, or the welfare of 
the people. The Understanding does not consider 
the welfare of humanity at large, but of humanity 
in a particular area — the nation or the race. It 
demands always the practical test, for it is purely 
utilitarian. It is not cosmopolitan ; it is British, 
or French, or Siamese. 

The chief features, then, of this half-way house 
of thought are that the world is classified with 
sharp distinctions between the classes, that the 
distinguishing principle — ^race, liberty, law, any- 
thing you please — is something given to the 
mind and not examined by the mind, and lastly, 
that such distinctions are considered and acted 
upon as final. It is emphatically the sphere of 
the practical man. It does not confuse the 
common issues of life with any of the uncertain- 
ties of speculation. Its guiding principle is the 
law of the SuflBlcient Beason ; it explains every- 


thing by something else. The world it creates 
for itself is orderly, logical, and free from any 
atmospheric haze. Such is the true world of 
politics, for it is the Understanding which makes 
states rich and weU governed, and their citizens 
prosperous and contented. I have said that it is 
a world of compromise, but remember that most 
of the people who live in it see no compromise 
about the matter. It is for them a world of 
final and unalterable truths. I need not labour 
the point, for Lady Amysfort on the second day 
of our visit gave us an admirable exposition of 
this half-way house of the Understanding on its 
political side, and Mr Wakefield, if I may say so, 
is a living instance of it." 

Mr Wakefield, hearing his name mentioned, 
awoke from a short nap, and prepared to give 
Lord Appin his critical and hostile attention. 

''I shall not be accused of underestimating 
this most admirable attitude if I say that if it 
were universal the world would come to an end. 
Happily it is not universal, for there will always 
be many who, while insisting upon its meritSi 
bring to it in practice a principle from another 
and a further stage of thought. Mr Wakefield, 
for example, would not be an Imperialist if he 
were content to dwell wholly in its confines. 
Its merits, let me repeat, are that it insists upon 


clear working distinctions, and that with its 
practical bias it looks always to facts, since its 
datum is Experience. Yes! But with Experi- 
ence we admit at once one of the dynamic forces 
of revolution. I will not bring in any meta- 
physical doctrine of the Absolute Process of 
Thought. I will take this one recreating and 
reforming element in the sphere of the Under- 
standing itself, that Experience which is its 
foundation. Sooner or later, as facts change, 
the change impresses itself even upon their 
formal interpretation. There will always be 
some who, living in the greater world of 
what, in contradistinction, we may call Reason, 
will be conscious from the start of the limitations 
of the Understanding ; they will see its laws as 
compromises, its solutions as working hypotheses. 
Such men wUl be the midwives of change, and 
their maieutic skill will be aided by the slow 
compulsion of Experience. There is a name for 
this compelling force which has been in common 
use since Plato— Dialectic. It is the sceptical 
dissolvent, the inquidtvde poussante^ which acts 
upon the dogmatism of the Understanding. 
Hegel has an instance from theology which I 
daresay Lord Launceston remembers. But please 
keep in mind that, though I use this illustration, 
I am not giving you Hegelianism, but one of 


the accepted platitudes of philosophy. We first 
of all, Hegel says, conceive of God as a remote 
but beneficent force. We see seed-time and 
harvest return, children born and growing gently 
to maturity, and God following a laissez-faire 
policy, and sufiering nature to run smoothly in 
compartments. Then suddenly comes in Dia- 
lectic in the thunderstorm which ruins the crops, 
the plague which devastates the family, in the 
awiul terror of the Unseen, and the mystery of 
an inscrutable Fate. We are shaken out of o\ir 
ease, and know that the liord is a jealous God, 
and that nature is careless of our pigmy life. 
And then, at the last, comes the reconciliation 
in the domain of Reason, when we learn that 
God is made one with man. With this final 
stage of the infinite Reason we have no concern 
to-night. Politics is a mundane and a dusty 
game at best, and does not call for the highest 
function of thought. Sometimes, it is true, the 
humblest among us have seasons of revelation 
when a new dawn flushes our prosaic sky, and 
we have a glimpse of a City without foundations, 
and aspire for a moment to 

' the shiniDg table-laDiIa 
To which OUT Qod Himself is moon and son.' 

A great seer or mystic will kindle a nation to 
pursue for a little an ideal, of which the Under- 


standing knows nothing, and that patchwork, 
which we call our world, seems in very truth 
the garment of God. But these sublime imagin- 
ings are not for practical men such as Mr Wake- 
field and — magno intervallo — myself. In politics 
Dialectic acting upon the Understanding does 
not lead us, as Hegel's illustration suggests, to 
the deeper unity of the Beason, but only to 
a reformed Understanding in harmony with 
changed conditions. The right mode of political 
thinking, I repeat, is this sphere, where the 
manifold world of experience is broken up into 
a clear system, where distinctions are regarded 
as final, and where the practical end is never 
lost to view. But for those who would lead 
their generation the Understanding must be 
tinged by Dialectic, compromises must be seen as 
such, and the coercive force of change which 
resides in experience must be aided and abetted. 
The result, as I have said, will be only another 
world of the Understanding, but the datum will 
have been revised. So in a roundabout way, 
and from a different side, we get back to the 
definition of Imperialism which we reached quite 
early in our stay here. We claim as our attitude 
this dialectical Understanding, or, in other words, 
while we needlessly destroy no one of the dis- 
tinctions which compose our traditional creed, 



we desire to rethink them in the light of a new 

"It is an extraordinary thing," said the 
Duchess, " how much wisdom there is in ordinary 
political labels. I should have said that Caroline 
and you. Bob, though you both call yourselves 
Conservatives, were at the opposite poles of 
opinion, and yet, when you come to a frank 
confession, you reach almost the same conclusion. 
I am not at all certain that I don't agree with 
you. Only, what I feel about your definition of 
Imperialism is that it does not distinguish it 
from any other sound political creed. You define 
it by the attitude of mind which it implies— 
clearness, practicality, an adequate recognition 
of the conditions of policy. But the Liberal 
might say the same thing of his faith, and the 
Conservative, and the Socialist. There is no 
serious politician alive who would not subscribe 
to the formula." 

" Most true, Susan, but I have not nearly 
done with my definition. The attitude I have 
described belongs to all sane and practical creeds 
— creeds, that is to say, which incline neither 
to reaction nor to revolution. No faith which 
claims to be in tune with the spirit of its age 
would dare to disavow it. No; the difference 
is between those who hold the belief merely as 


a pious opinion and those who are prepared to 
act strenuously upon it. The difference, that is 
to say, lies in the rigour of our examination of 
our data. We Imperialists, whatever our political 
labels at home, are confronted with two alter- 
natives. A huge empire has grown up around 
us, full of problems on which we can gain little 
light from our precedent history. We cannot 
deny the existence of that empire and those 
problems : so far we are all agreed. But we 
may regard it as an encumbrance, a menace to 
our older traditions ; or we may see in it a hope 
of a richer and better public life, where greater 
responsibilities are counterbalanced by nobler 
rewards. To be an Imperialist demands two 
things — the eye to discern the new conditions 
and the will to accept them." 

" Do you argue, then," said Hugh, ** that the 
opposition we have to face is due not to intel- 
lectual blindness, but to moral lethargy ? " 

" Not to moral lethargy in the best cases, but 
to a quite honest and logical fidelity to a doctrine 
which I believe to be false. Our opponents may 
be divided into two classes. One class admits 
that these new conditions may be valuable, and 
that Imperialism is a beautiful dream ; but they 
add that it is impossible. It is beyond the 
power of himianity, they argue, to construct 


Buch a state. Now, I am far &om advocating 
impracticable ideals. It is a perfectly good 
answer to any proposal to say that it is im- 
possible. But we must be careful how we admit 
the defence propter infirmitatem. If it were a 
question of building out of the void a Utopia 
where war should be unknown and property held 
in common, I should declare it impossible, be- 
cause it would demand a revolution in human 
nature and human methods so complete as to 
be inconceivable. But when we are g^ven the 
foundations to build on and the materials are 
ready to our hand, and the only further require- 
ments are intelligence and vitality in the build- 
ers, then to say that the work is too hard to 
attempt is a confession of moral lethargy. It is 
not political wisdom, but political cowardice. 

" The other class have a more formidable de- 
fence. They altogether deny the value of the 
new conditions and the new ideal. They com- 
plain that a vast material extension has no 
organic relation to national well-being. Britain, 
they say, owns one-fourth of the territory of the 
globe, rules one-fourth of the population, and 
conducts one~third of the trade ; but she is no 
greater on that account than if she possessed not 
a rood outside the British Islands. In a word, 
they deny that principle which I have always 


maintained to lie at the very root of Imperialism 
— the need of a quantitative basis for qualitative 

" Let me try to state their case as fairly as I 
can. No state, they say, owes its greatness in 
any real sense to its material equipment. Bussia 
may govern from the Baltic to the Behring Sea 
and yet be an inferior power to Germany. 
Themistocles will always defeat Xerxes, and rich 
Carthage must yield in the end to poverty- 
stricken Bome. The claim of Britain to a great 
place in the world is due to the liberties which 
she has evolved in her long history ; to a 
constitution which has been a model for all 
free nations ; to her propaganda on behalf of 
humanity and liberalism ; to the vitality of 
her sons who have led the way in exploration 
and invention and adventure. It is true that 
great wealth and great possessions have been 
the result, but they are the accidents, not the 
springs, of her greatness. Her true magnificence 
is seen in the way in which she has built up 
nations overseas with no thought of her own 
advantage. Britain, confined to her islands, 
with every colony elevated into an independent 
state, is richer in all that constitutes national 
wealth than if she owned a quarter of the globe 
in fee-simple, and administered it as a tributary 


province. By remaining loyal to her faith in 
liberty she provides the conditions in which her 
people can grow to their full stature far more 
eflTectively than if she compelled the other nations 
of the world to become her servants to this end. 
So far I, for one, am ready to admit that the 
argument is indisputable. 

" But, they continue, this modem talk of 
empire introduces another ideal, and a grossly 
material one. It brings in mere size as in itself 
of value. It seeks to extend the borders of 
Britain so that a quarter of the world shall be 
one state. The assumption on which it acts is 
that a complex organisation, which taxes all the 
powers of its organisers, is likely to produce a 
higher civic development than a simpler polity. 
The whole creed, they argue, is simply a shelving 
of the question. Granted that many things are 
ruinously wrong in our public life, surely the 
right way to remedy them is to get at the root 
of the mischief, to reform the heart, to transform 
the spirit, and not merely to say there is a big 
empire which will cure these ills if we allow it. 
They add — and I know I am repeating what 
has already been better said — that an immense 
material environment will cripple the soul. We 
shall think in continents instead of in truths. 
Our prosperity and its responsibilities will choke 


US till we become leaden-eyed galley-slaves killed 
by a too generous fortune. 

" I can distinguish two separate points of at- 
tack. The first is that Imperialism tends to seek 
material cures for spiritual diseases. That is to 
say, our opponents deny that qualitative develop- 
ment can depend upon a quantitative basis. The 
second is that a vast material environment is 
not only no remedy for moral ills, but a direct 
menace to moral well-being. Let us take these 
arguments separately. 

" The first, to my mind, is true up to a point. 
It adopts an illustration fi:om biology, and holds 
that organic disease in a living body is not re- 
moved by growth in size or by any stimulants 
which promote such growth. Well, I am in 
entire agreement. But to adduce this illustra- 
tion as an answer to my contention is to be 
guilty of a glaring ignoratio elenchi. I have 
used the word * development,' not health. And 
my argument is that just as you cannot find the 
mind and spirit of a man in a body which has 
been starved and stunted till it is no better 
than an infant's, so you cannot find true spiritual 
progress unless you provide adequate material 
conditions. But I do not care for this pictorial 
reasoning, so let us put the matter differently. 
What do we mean by spiritual development ? 


Surely, the broadening and deepening of the mind 
till it regards the world in its true perspective, 
and the strengthening of the character so that 
the will is a tempered and unerring weapon in 
the charge of a man's soul. And this end is to 
be achieved only by the exercise of the mind 
upon the largest possible manifold of experience, 
and by the conflict of character with the alien 
forces of the world. I am talking, remember, 
not of the saint and recluse, but of the citizen. 
What is true of individual development is no less 
true of the state's. A nation becomes great in 
the most sublimated sense of the word by its 
ability to present its citizens with a sphere of 
action wherein their civic responsibilities may 
be fulfilled. A microcosm, however perfect, will 
never be a true arena for civic virtue. 

" But, it may be argued, no one denies that the 
state must have an ample sphere of action ; the 
objection to your doctrine is that you declare 
that the sphere of action involves a spacial ex- 
tension, whereas we say that it may be intensive. 
There is sufficient work for the citizen in settling 
his home problems without embarking on foreign 
adventures. My answer is that for a state such 
as ours the two thins^ are synonymous. I do 
not for . ..on..nt deny that for a Z colony in- 
tensive activity may be the path of wisdom. But 



in all old and highly developed lands there comes 
a time when, without spacial extension, all that 
is possible is a barren rearrangement, a shuffling 
of the cards. Just as we cannot describe a mere 
analysis and readjustment of a few dogmas as 
mental progress, so I call any preoccupation with 
what after all must be the formal aspect of our 
own aflTairs — their emendation without the intro- 
duction of fresh elements, — I call that national 
stagnation. And this brings me to my second 
answer to the first argument of our opponenta 
I am prepared to maintain that spacial extension 
may cure a disease, when that disease is itself 
the result of undue confinement. If a man is 
fainting from foul air, he will revive under the 
winds of heaven. A palm may be perishing in 
a flower-pot, when it would thrive in the forest. 
Mrs Deloraine has suggested that certain of the 
vices in our modern art are due to the narrowing 
of its borders. Take, again, our labour problem. 
You may talk about the reorganisation of indus- 
try, you may accept any socialist nostrum, you 
may abolish capitalism, and yet you will be no 
better ofl*, if, as I believe, the radical fault is 
that we are over - industrialised. The cure for 
our economic ills, if cure there be, is to bring 
fresh capital into the business. One of the mis- 
fortunes of our age is that in one sense it is too 


ideal, too prone to neglect the material conditions 
without which no great end can be achieved in 
this world or any other. It is a flimsy idealism 
at the best, for the great idealists never forgot 
that, if it was well to trust in God, it was no leas 
right to keep their powder dry." 

"We are too ideal," continued Lord Appin, 
meeting the approving glance of Mr Wakefield, 
" and at the same time we are not ideal enough. 
If we were, we should not hear the second argu^ 
ment which our opponents use. Material great- 
ness, they say, is an enemy to moral well-being. 
It debases our standards, inflames our pride, and 
stirs our passions. To this I have only one 
answer to make. If our national life be of so 
poor a quality that it is smothered by pos- 
sessions, then the battle need never be joined at 
all. The ' small nation ' fallacy is like the 
' sheltered life ' humbug in education. A people 
must keep itself clear firom the world lest its 
garments be spotted, just as a hoy should not be 
sent to a public school in case his moral 
sense be dimmed. If our soul is to be lost 
because we go down into the arena of life, then 
the odds are that it was not worth saving from 
the first If we will escape the danger of de- 
cadence, we will also forego the hope of progress ; 
and remember, the nation which stands still is 


doomed. If we do not go forward, we shall most 
certainly go back. 

*'But at the same time it is well that this 
objection should be stated, because it contains 
a warning against the sins to which great empires 
are prone, — what the French call the disease of 
'grandeur.' I believe most firmly that in the 
deepest sense Providence is on the side of the 
bigger battalions. I cannot see why size should 
not have its ideal as well as littleness. All the 
world inclines to reserve its affection for small 
things — a small country, a small people — because 
I assume there is a stronger sense of proprietor- 
ship attaching to what is limited in bulk. Yet 
I can conceive of as deep a patriotism in an 
empire as in a city, and a love of great moun- 
tains and plains as real as any affection for a 
garden. But size has its own disease, and we 
may easily fall into the vice of looking upon it 
as something worthy in itself, however alien it 
may remain to our culture. Whether we call 
the disease 'Jingoism' or 'grandeur' or 'self- 
complacency,' its root is the same. It means 
that we regard our empire as a mere possession, 
as the vulgar rich regard their bank accounts — 
a matter to boast of, and not an added duty. 
All the braggart glorification we sometimes hear 
means a shallow and frivolous understanding of 


what empire involves. No serious man dare 
boast of the millions of square miles which his 
people rule, when he remembers that each mile 
has its own problem, and that on him and his 
fellows lies the burden of solution. 

'' Jingoism, then, is not a crude Imperialism ; 
it is Imperialism's stark opposite. It belongs to 
the school of thought which thinks of the Empire 
as England, with a train of dependencies and 
colonies to enhance her insular prestige; but it 
has no kinship with the ideal of an empire mov- 
ing with one impulse towards a richer destiny. 
The true Imperialist will be very little inclined 
to a cheap complacency. He is kindled at times 
to ardour by the magnitude of his inheritance, 
and he has always, if he keeps the faith, optim- 
ism and hope to cheer him. But he is equally 
weighed down with the burden of his duties and 
the complexity of the task before him, if he 
would translate his dream into fact. A depend- 
ency to him is not a possession but a trust. The 
glory of England is not the mileage of her terri- 
tory but the state into which she is welding it. 

" And therefore I say that Imperialism, sanely 
considered, is the best guardian of peace. Its 
aim is not conquest but consolidation and de- 
velopment, and its task within its own borders 
is so great that it has little inducement to meddle 


with its neighbours. I am no believer in cosmo- 
politanism. I have always thought that a man 
must cleave to his own people, and that the 
purpose of God is best attained by the strife of 
race with race and ideal with ideal. War will 
remain as the last resort when two race ideals, 
passionately held, meet in conflict. But the war 
which comes from a vague lust of possession I 
abhor, and the remedy for it is a preoccupation 
with nobler tasks. England has completed her 
great era of expansion. Her work for ages was 
to find new outlets for the vigour of her sons, 
and to occupy the waste or derelict places of the 
earth. Now, the land being won, it is her task 
to develop the wilds, to unite the scattered 
settlements, and to bring the whole within the 
influence of her tradition and faith. This labour 
we call empire-building, and above all things it 
is a labour of peace." 

" I thought that you were going to talk meta- 
physics," said Mr Wakefield in an aggrieved 
voice. " Instead, you have talked ordinary com- 
mon-sense, with which I can pick no quarrel. I 
object to having my patent infringed." 

Lord Appin had got himself a cigar and was 
smoking steadUy. 

" In the last resort," he said blandly, " the two 
things are not distinguishable. I feared I had 


been a little too high-coloured in my argument 
to earn your approval, for Mrs Deloraine has 
affected us all with a tendency to emotion. Still, 
I think, the main position is sound." 

" Sound ! " cried Mr Wakefield. " There is no 
answer to it. But I am glad that I am not 
obliged to make the defence too often, for I am 
not an adept at this kind of discussion. In the 
colonies we go on simpler lines. One opponent 
says that he wants a republic, another declares 
that England is played out, while a third idiot — 
and he is the commonest — is too anxious to get 
his township started to care what happens to the 
Empire. His only question is, * And what am I 
to get out of it ? ' I meet these reprobates with 
business arguments — figures, you know, and a 
little sentiment. In the colonies, happily, they 
do not get down to fundamentals." 

" Nor in England," said Hugh. " The people 
who go back to first principles, as a rule make 
the journey only to find some defence for a pre- 
judice which nothing will induce them to forego. 
There are no conversions in that rarefied air." 

"Well, let us leave it at that," Lord Appin 
said cheerfully. "We, too, have recourse to 
fundamentals merely to justify to ourselves the 
faith which comes to us from other sources. I 
have a great belief in common-sense, which, after 


ally is the method proper to the sphere of the 
Understanding. Only, as some of us have in- 
quisitive minds, it is as well now and then to go 
a little farther for the sake of a more reasonable 
satisfaction. Heaven forbid that I should ever 
try to transfer for good the case for Imperialism 
to the cloudy plateau of philosophy. Philosophy 
is not a necessary of life, it is not even a special 
pleasure ; but, remember, if it once lays hold of 
the mind, it is the only thing which can solve the 
doubts it creates. . . . There, Wakefield, I hope 
I have climbed off my perch with sufficient 
humility to please you. And now, having blas- 
phemed my idols, I shall restore my self-respect 
by beating you at billiards." 



"We shall get back/' said the Duchess next 
night at dinner, "just in time for the autumn 
session. I am told I must give a political party, 
and I want you all to come. Bob always does, 
and our people stare at him as if he were a 
strange new beast. It does them good to find 
out that he has not a cloven hoof, and I am sure 
it is the best thing in the world for him to be 
civil to people who annoy him. Will you come. 
Sir Edward ? " 

That gentleman had been unaccountably glum 
during the meal, so that Mrs Yorke had given up 
in despair the effort of making conversation* 

"I'm afraid I can't," he said moodily. "I 
shan't be in England till after Christmas, for I 
promised Carey to go up to Kashmir and have a 
look at his place there. But it would be worth 
while going back if I thought I would meet that 
fellow Bronson, and tell him what I thought of 
him with a dog -whip. Of all the damned 


scoundrels ! — I beg your pardon, Duchess, but it*s 
a fact. Have you seen the home papers ? You 
know there's a row in West Africa, a very tick- 
lish affair for us, for we hold a big country with 
a handful of troops and no base within hundreds 
of miles. Well, because we have killed a score 
or two of natives in the way of duty, the fellow 
has been spitting venom about our men, calling 
them murderers, and accusing them of every un- 
mentionable atrocity. I don't mind his slinging 
accusations into the air ; it's the favourite game 
of these vermin, and eases them without doing 
anybody much harm. But when it comes to 
calling old Mitchinson a blackguard, who, as 
everybody knows, is the straightest and kindest 
fellow on earth, then, I think, it's about time for 
somebody to interfere. If half a dozen English- 
men in lonely stations are massacred and have 
their eyes gouged out, in the language of that 
rabble it's the effort of a brave people rightly 
struggling to be free. But if in self-defence we 
teach some of the sportsmen the ways of the 
Maxim, then it's a cold-blooded brutal murder. 
I would give all I possess to show some of these 
gentry the pretty habits of the full-blooded 

**My dear Teddy," said Lord Appin, "your 
language is a little unparliamentary. No, I 
forgot. You would consider that a compliment, 


80 I shall say unnecessarily abusive. I don't 
object to Mr Bronson, who is merely an honest 
well-meaning as& He feels in his way as deeply 
about the affair as you do, and means as well by 
his country. As Bismarck said, 'Every nation 
must have its national fools.' The sentimentalist 
is a much worse fellow, for he has no earnestness 
to justify his folly. Let me quote from my 
favourite newspaper a few remarks about that 
fight in Northern Nigeria you were talking 

"'On Sunday — the day of rest and gladneas 
throughout the Christian world — three hundred 
brave, black British citizens were murdered in West 
Africa. Their oETence was that they had taken up 
arms for their native land. Kemember that these 
men were not a foreign foe, but subjects of our King, 
sharers with ourselves in the benefits which are 
assumed to follow our flag. What account have we 
to render of our stewardship towards them ? Before 
we came into their country they were living their 
simple lives happily and innocently — in darkness, it 
may be, but yet in peace. We come among them, 
outrage their traditions, violate their sanctities, 
coerce them in an unfamiliar bondage. Can we 
wonder that a high-apirited people rebels ? And we 
meet their revolt with the savage measures which 
weakness and panic dictate. West Africa is, 
indeed, a signal and ominous lesson in imperial 
futility and crime, but it is a lesson, we hope and 
believe, which is now scarcely needed. Already the 
grandiose dreams of empire are foundering in the 


" There ! " said Sir Edward triumphantly. 
" There you have the stuff I mean. Launceston, 
you defended the Nonconformist conscience when 
we were crossing the Lake. Have you anything 
to say in defence of that ? " 

" I make the same distinction as Lord Appin.*' 
Lord Launceston, who had scarcely smiled during 
the reading of the extract, spoke with a grave 
deliberation which hushed the talk. " Two men 
may differ profoundly and yet be equally entitled 
to the name of patriot. Take the case of con- 
scription. I may desire to see every citizen 
trained to arms, and my neighbour may hold 
all war immoral and military training no better 
than a preparation for crime. I desire the thing 
because I wish my country well, and he opposes 
me because he also wishes it well. We differ 
because we are patriots : if he, with his convic- 
tions, were less of a patriot, he might agree with 
me. There are many people who must be troubled 
by the incidents of a native war — quite honestly 
and reasonably troubled. They believe that their 
country is degrading herself, and, because they 
love their country, they are bound to protest. 
We differ intellectually, but morally we are at 
one with them. I do not object to the killing 
of men in a right cause, just as I do not object 
to capital punishment, because I have no extreme 


respect for human life. Nor do I object to 
flogging when it may be expedient, because I do 
not believe in the dignity of the human person. 
But I recognise that many good men do not 
share my scepticism, and that for them to condone 
these things would be a betrayal of their moral 
standards. I want to see every genuine fanatic 
fought tooth and nail if need be, but respected as 
a foe who by a turn of fortune's wheel may be- 
come an ally. Fanaticism means steel and fire, 
and we are nothing without them. Every true 
Imperialist, it seems to me, must be at heart a 
kind of fanatic. We can do something with 
the cranks, but we can do nothing with the 
fldneur. They differ from us only in opinion, 
not in purpose, and any day a new light 
or a wider experience may range them on our 

Sir Edward grunted. "Then if we are to 
respect them so much, how are we to fight them ? 
You can't %ht without a little animosity, and it 
looks as if that excellent quality were to be 
swamped with unwilling admiration." 

"We fight them because we believe them to 
be utterly and mischievously wrong. We are 
in as deadly earnest as they are, and we are as 
certain of our faith. When fanaticism comes 
in our way we must convert it or destroy it. 


But when that is done we can build its tomb 
and give it a friendly epitaph." 

" Do you mean to say that the fellows who are 
screaming about Mitchinson are only mistaken 
patriots ? " 

"Some are undoubtedly," said Lord Launces- 
ton. " But not over many, because the true 
fanatic is rarely a fool, and this attack is so 
curiously foolish. No, I fear it springs in the 
main from a quality for which I have no 
defence to make — a shallow and calculating: 

Lady Flora protested. " Please, Lord Launces- 
ton, don't join in the conventional abuse of 
sentiment. I like it, for it means that people 
are simple-minded and cheerful." 

"I don't meaa your kind of sentiment, my 
dear child. We shall all pray for its continu- 
ance. The sentiment I mean is the decadence 
of everything simple and cheerful. It comes 
&om a mind and heart whose powers have gone 

Lady Warcliff nodded her agreement. " I 
like that distinction I used before between the 
hard-hearted kind people and the soft -hearted 
cruel people. The sentimentalist is the egotist 
who cloaks his selfishness by claiming a monopoly 
of the purer emotions. There is no province of 



life which he does not pollute. In love he is the 
philanderer, in politics the Jingo or the humani- 
tarian, in art the purveyor of all that is weak 
and fatuous and second-rate. He is incapable of 
greatness : he is incapable of even common truth. 
He goes through life without ever seeing the 
world in its reality, for between him and it hangs 
the veil of the second-hand emotionalism. He is 
the kind of being who calls physical cowardice 
moral courage, who will shed tears over the 
poor and bully his own servants, whose mouth 
is full of noble words and his heart of little fears 
and vanities. There is nothing to lay hold of in 
him, only rottenness, like a decaying tree. He 
has so debauched his soul that he is incapable of 
any clean strong passion, and therefore I say, God 
pity the man or woman who trusts in him. For, 
like all weak unwholesome things, he is capable of 
the last extreme of cruelty." 

" Poor sentimentalist ! " sighed the Duchess. 
"Really, Margaret, you are too unkind, for we 
have all a bit of him in our nature, and your 
censure is horribly personal. Let us walk round 
the terrace while the men smoke, and then we 
may be in a better frame of mind for Lord 

Half an hour later in the inner hall the com- 
pany reassembled. Lady Flora had begged for 


lights. "I feel so eerie in the dark," she said, 
" and besides, I like to watch people's faces. Mr 
Wakefield, will you sit beside me and translate 
the fragments of the dead languages which no 
one seems able to do without?" 

Lord Launceston began with a great air of 

" I have been given an appalling task by our 
host — nothing less than to sum up the kind of 
conclusions we have been hovering round since 
we came here. It was no use my protesting 
and quoting Fichte's reply to Madame de Stael, 
' Ces choses ne ses laissent pas dire succincte- 
ment.' He replied that if we had any clear 
ideas at all, there were always words to fit them. 
I suppose he is right, and though our body of 
results is not very great, yet there are one or 
two points established. Like all living faiths, 
Imperialism must grow insensibly into men's 
hearts. Almost the last thing it finds is its 
principles, but long before that it has revealed 
itself in a new way of looking at the world, 
a new hope, vague, indeterminate, and yet so 
priceless that those who catch the gleam are 
ready to leave everything and follow it. 

"Our first conclusion, therefore, was that Im- 
perialism was not Liberalism or Conservatism or 
any other traditional creed. It was a new 


attitude of mind which admitted certain new 
conditions into the problem of statesmanship. 
On the interpretation of these conditions there 
will be a great difference of opinion. We shall 
have liberals and conservatives, socialists and 
individualists, free-traders and protectionists, but 
all these differences will exist wiihin Imperialism. 
The sign-manual of our creed is the belief that 
our problems must be settled on the basis of 
the Empire, that it is our business to look at 
all the facts instead of at only a few of them. 
"This is, of course, the merest formal state- 
ment, and gets us very little farther. On these 
terms we could enlist, I believe, ninety-nine out 
of every hundred Englishmen in a lip-service to 
the creed. What we desire to create is the 
Imperialist with the intelligence to estimate his 
data correctly, and the will to act upon his con- 
clusions. That is to say, we ask for a more 
highly-developed type of citizen. Lord Appin 
has already explained to you the practical stand- 
point of such a citizen, and the philosophical 
justification for it. We do not need theorists 
or sentimentalists or anarchists : we want the 
practical intelligence which is acute in foresight 
and sober in ideal, and which is joined to an 
unhesitating instinct for deeds. He has also 
explained the kind of philosophical preconcep- 


tion which is involved in any examination of 
our new data, and which must be taken as 
the sine qua non of Imperialism. He defined it 
roughly, if I remember, as the recognition of the 
value of material greatness for spiritual develop- 
ment, the belief that since ideals can only be 
realised under conditions of space and time, it 
is right and proper to attend to these condi- 
tions. So our Imperialist — liberal, conservative, 
individualist, socialist — we may take to be the 
man who accepts the Empire as the basis of all 
our problems, who believes that spacial expan- 
sion is not inconsistent with civic well-being 
but may be a valuable ally, and who carries to 
his task a mind which understands the limita- 
tions of political activity, and at the same time 
is quick to apprehend and resolute to act. Many 
Imperialists, no doubt, will fall short of this high 
standard, but we define a party by its ideal. 

"In the early part of our discussions much 
was said about the relations of Imperialism to 
current politics at home. We do not seek to 
create any new party, but to have all parties 
accept our doctrine as the ultimate basis of 
their activity. But at the same time there are 
certain types of mind which are of more value 
to us than others, and certain types which are 
almost wholly useless. I have something to say 


on this subject which I can best introduce by 
a quotation from Lady Flora. I overheard her 
the other day arguing with Astbury about that 
hoary question — the proper definition of Whig 
and Tory. And this was her conclusion. A 
Whig is a man who is prepared to go to the 
stake for his beliefs, but who will not send his 
opponents there. A Tory is one who will not 
only bum himself, but is quite prepared in the 
last resort to biun those who differ from him. 
I take that as a parable, and I am prepared to 
defend the Tory attitude as the one which in 
the future must triumph. We are many hun- 
dred years removed from burning, but the point 
of view remains the same. One man is very 
much in earnest about his creed, but he will not 
coerce his fellows into agreement. He must 
justify himself to his own conscience, but he will 
not take it upon himself to compel other con- 
sciences to follow suit. Laissez-faire is his 
motto and individualism his religion. A second 
man has the same private depth of conviction, but 
his conscience has a communal tinge in it. He 
cannot conceive that that which deeply concerns 
himself does not also concern the State. I do- 
not mean that he is the crude propagandist. 
That is a type that is common enough and 
worthless enough to-day. Every human being 


itches to make converts, whether it be to the- 
osophy or to dry-fly fishing. I mean the serious 
conviction that no man lives to himself alone, 
and that we must settle our problems not only 
for ourselves but for the State. A political 
creed cannot be a private possession. If it is 
true it is true for the whole race, and the type 
of mind which I speak of is prepared to coerce 
the world into accepting it. One man says, 'I 
think this or that, and I hope to find enough 
like-minded people to give the view the support 
of a majority.' Another says, *This is my 
opinion, and since it is Grod's truth, the world 
shall accept it.'' And it is the latter who must 
conquer. The earth is not yet the heritage of 
the meek, and the Kingdom of Heaven will 
yield only to violence. That is what I mean 
when I say that the natural ally of the Im- 
perialist is the fanatic. We demand first of all 
wisdom, but we believe that wisdom is a voice 
in the desert, unless there is a power of con- 
viction behind her to compel the market-place 
to acknowledge her godhead. 

" We have spoken of English conditions from 
the party point of view, and we have found 
that we can disregard conventional party dis- 
tinctions. I would rather consider them under 
a more organic division. We have still the 


great threefold classification — the lower classes, 
the middle, and the upper, or, as I should prefer 
to put it, the classes which have wants, the 
classes which are satisfied, and the classes which 
have ambitions. Some men are so near the 
margin of life that their horizon is bounded by 
material wants — food, housing, security. Others 
live on a plane where their desires are either less 
self-regarding, or if self-regarding are less mate- 
rial, and such desires I call ambitions. Between 
these extremes lie the great contented classes, 
the bourgeois in mind. They may have no 
positive satisfaction in life, but they desire in 
their dumb way the maintenance of things as 
they are. They may clamour for this or that 
refoL. but they are not reformers at heart, for 
their minds are asleep. I need scarcely say that 
this distinction of classes does not correspond 
with the conventional one. Some of our own 
class are in my lower, and a vast nmnber in my 
middle class, while many of the lower class as 
usually defined, and not a few of the middle, 
would belong to what on my definition is the 
aristocracy of ambition." 

" How true ! " said Mrs Wilbraham. " If we 
had a spiritual Debrett prepared by a committee 
of archangels what havoc it would make in 
Society ! " 


'M do not wish to disparage my middle 
class/' Lord Launceston continued. ''It plays 
a usefiil part and it haa many virtuea As 
some one has said, it is the * force of social 
persistence.' It has also, I believe, been likened 
to a backbone." 

''A most dangerous metaphor/' said the 
Duchess. ''What warrant has a backbone to 
make so much noise? I always thought that 
it was the duty of that valuable part of the 
hiunan frame to remain decently covered up with 
flesh. An aggressive backbone is a contradic- 
tion in terms. And yet there is no doubt that 
we are governed by our middle, our stupidly 
satisfied class." 

" Tes. That is our danger, as it has been the 
danger of all great civilisations. It does not 
think, because it has no need to. The burdens 
of citizenship mean nothing to it, because they 
are not felt. The lives of its members are be- 
yond the reach of ordinary want, they are secure 
from attack, they have no reason to pester them- 
selves about the problems of statecraft. Their 
attitude to the poor is one of slightly contemp- 
tuous patronage. Since their standards are 
material they have little sympathy for those 
who cannot command material success. Towards 
the class with ambitions they feel an innate hos- 


tility, save in so far as that class contains their 
social superiors. I have no doubt such people 
are kind friends, excellent husbands, and wise 
Others, but in no sense of the word are they 
citizens. And yet by a paradox of fate they 
govern. It is their votes that must be sought 
before any policy can be realised. It is this 
dull residuum who must be cajoled or persuaded 
before one step forward is possible. They are 
the support of traditionalism in all departments 
of life, not from conviction, like the true Tory, 
but from apathy. 

*' To such people we make no appeaL Im- 
perialism, like all constructive policies, asks for 
science, for ideas, for geist, above all for cour- 
age. But it may act upon this inert mass 
like fire upon ore, and sublimate it into some- 
thing of value. The sense of citizenship comes 
not from governing but from administering, and 
till problems are translated into homely terms, 
and the demands of the State hammer at 
the doors of those self-satisfied homes, there 
will be no salvation for their inmates. In the 
meantime our appeal must be to the first and 
the third of my classes. The third is obvious 
enough. The aristocracy of ambition in what- 
ever social rank they may be found are our 
natural propagandists. We appeal to all who 


can think clearly and feel cleanly and act whole- 

' patrician spirits that refine 
Their flesh to fire and issue like a flame 
On brave endeavours.' 

But we appeal no less eagerly to the rising de- 
mocracy, the men who are still preoccupied with 
the elementary wants of life. These men know 
that they can only make their power felt by 
superior energy, by loyalty to their ideals, by 
a relentless fidelity to facts. Like us they de- 
mand that the rubbish be cleared away, like us 
they clamour for a recognition of the needs of 
things as they are. They may show aleniB of 
hysSia and Lpatienee. but never of STgna- 
tion. Their attitude of mind is one with ours, 
and we have sufficient faith to believe that the 
same attitude will in time produce the same 

"There is another side of the popular cry 
which to my mind is most hopefiil. Your labour 
leader to-day wishes to bring the humblest citi- 
zen into the life of the State. That is to say, 
he would extend the opportunity of administrat- 
ive experience by means of subordinate councils, 
and with such an extension must come a growth 
of the feeling of corporate responsibility. The 
lower classes, if he had his will, should not 


govern without administering. Now our appeal 
is to practical stateBtnen, those who know the 
difficulties of administration and who have 
acquired from experience a wider view of public 
interests than the merely selfish. At present, I 
grant you, there is too much inclination in this 
class to identify the interests of the State with 
those of one section, but I am optimistic enough 
to believe that a wider experience carries within 
itself the cure. 

"The first moral condition, then, which Tm- 
perialism demands is a quickened civic conscience 
and a tireless intelligence. The second, for want 
of a better phrase, I will call a wider patriotism. 
The affection which with many is limited at 
present to their birthplace must be extended 
to the Empire. I do not mean that we should 
forego old attachments. Just as no man will 
ever love his fatherland in the same way as 
he loves the village or parish where he was 
bom, so to the Englishman, the Canadian, and 
the New Zealander, England and Canada and 
New Zealand will always have more intimate 
claims than any wider geographical area. But 
Imperial patriotism will stand to national, as 
national patriotism to-day stands to local afiec- 
tion. A man is not less of a patriot because 
the 'lone sheiling and the misty island' are 


nearer his heart than the whole reahn of Britain. 
And a man may be a good Imperialist although 
his country of origin has a larger share in his 
interests than the Empire. There is a gradation 
in patriotism, and one grade differs from another 
in kind. If we have at one end the sentiment 
for what is small and unique — the village, the 
glen, the cottage — at the other we may have 
a sentiment as genuine for what is omnipotent 
and universal. 

"This wider patriotism, as I understand it, 
seems to me to harmonise with the nature of 
our race. Our land no more than Hellas has 
a paltry local unity. The English genius has 
never regarded its civilisation as tied down to 
the place of its birth. Its task has been to 
absorb the unfamiliar and to lay bare the 
unknown, admitting no terra incognita into 
its scheme of things. There is always the 
home country, the centre of memories, but 
the working loyalties of life go to those lands 
it has created. As every man loves the work 
of his own hands, so any race must love what 
comes from its own toil and adventure. Such 
a love is no thin cosmopolitanism, but the 
jealous affection for its own household, and 
once the unity of the Empire is realised, 
patriotism must embrace it as naturally as 


&iuily affection embraces each new inmate of 
the home. 

"These are platitudes which are scarcely 
worth repeating, were they not so often for- 
gotten. We need not greatly concern ourselves 
with the by-products of empira If the motive 
force is there — the new attitude of mind and 
all that is implied in it — we may safely trust 
to natural laws to produce the secondary results 
we desire. Our first business, then, is to have 
the Empire accepted, not as a pious opinion or 
a phrase of rhetoric, but as a living faith. It 
mxist become an unconscious presupposition in 
all our politics, otherwise it will not influence 
our conduct of afiairs. Remember that a truth 
is only potent in English life when it has 
become a truism. Our duty, as we all agree, 
is first of all to create opinion, — to guide the 
alert, and to compel the inert into a certain 
attitude of mind. 

"So far, I thmk, I carry Mr Wakefield with 
me. But after that, he wilt ask, what next? 
After that, I am airaid, he and I must agree 
to differ. It is not a fundamental difference, 
for it is only on methods, but the methods 
seem to me so vital a matter that I fear it 
is a real difference. Let me repeat some of 
the conclusions we have reached in our dis- 


cussion. We saw that while legislative federa- 
tion was out of the question as things stand 
to-day, some executive union was not only 
urgently needed, but up to a point pra^jticable. 
Mr Wakefield himself^ outlined a scheme which 
promised to create gradually and without any 
wild change a true Imperial executive. We 
saw that the present theory of our Empire 
was one of alliance, but that it must be 
made a working alliance. We have a dozen 
great common problems, and they are aU ad- 
ministrative — ^the control of subject races, the 
development of the tropics, labour, defence, 
emigration, commercial union. Our survey of 
these has been very slight, but we have found 
reason, I think, to believe that in all there is 
a hope of a successful settlement on an Imperial 
basis. But questions which concern all must be 
answered by the co-operation of all. At present 
our method is either to leave them unanswered 
or to answer them ourselves after a make- 
believe of consultation. This is bad enough, 
but in my opinion it is less dangerous than 
the other proposal which Mr Wakefield upholds. 
That seeks to effect a union on a matter of im- 
mense importance to eax^h unit, while retaining 
the old loose alliance system unchanged. I am 


not dealing now with any economic doctrine. 
I am perfectly content to see our traditional 
faith revised if necessary, but that revision 
must come from a body empowered to under- 
take the task. To plunge the empire into a 
wrangle on what is after all a detail, without 
providing the machinery within which alone 
that detaU has any meaning, is to my mind 
a gross blunder in statesmanship.^' 

" As if," said Lord Appin dreamily, ** a man 
were to embark on a violent discussion about 
the career of his eldest son before he had pro- 
posed to the lady of his affections." 

" Carey," said Mr Wakefield, " I thought that 
subject had been forbidden. If it hasn't, I ought 
to be allowed to state my case. In two words 
it is this. I say that before you can have an 
executive union you must create a desire for 
it. The most vital of our common problems is 
that of our commerce. If we once show the 
different peoples in the empire that on this point 
they can have a union to their mutual advan- 
tage, why, union will follow as a matter of 

Lord Launceston laughed. " My dear Wake- 
field, if that is all your case then I have no 
quarrel with you. That is very different from 


the *high priori' line of most of your school. 
Many of them are Imperialists only by accident. 
They are insular at heart, and they stand like 
Ruth 'in tears amid the alien corn' because 
they lament the decline of England, not the 
disintegration of the empire. If the creed of 
a common commercial policy is only an argu- 
ment for an imperial executive, then you have 
my best wishes in your crusade. But remember 
there are many other common needs, and that 
to attempt to meet any one without the common 
machinery will mean failure, utter and final, 
and good-bye for many a day to aU hope of 
union. These discussions have left me with two 
convictions intensified. One is that in the end 
our creed must prevail. The other is that we 
are dealing with fragile things and must go very 
warily. We are not welding lifeless matter to- 
gether, but coaxing into one growth a number 
of separate forms of life. And since we are 
handling life our touch must be delicate and sjrm- 
pathetic, for one hint of coercion may snap the 
vital link. I am one of those people who re- 
joice in colonial nationalism. I would not have 
it one jot weaker than it is to-day. When I 
hear of Australia clamouring for a navy of her 
own, and Canada asking for the treaty-making 


power, I am honestly delighted. They may be 
asking for the wrong things, but the fact that 
they should want them is right — right — right. 
I want to see every one of our daughter-peoples 
grow into triumphant and self-conscious nation- 
hood, for it is all contributory to the well-being 
of the Empire. There is no value in the union 
of weak things : we want the unity of strength, 
the unity where every part has a vigorous self- 
subsistent life out of which it contributes to the 
common stock of imperial vitality. 

"In our discussion we have insisted — rightly, 
I think — less upon the material splendour which 
our ideal involves than upon its spiritual great- 
ness. Empire is a dream — on the brink of 
realisation, it is true, but still a dream. Too 
often these Imperial visions have a Byzantine 
colouring. They dwell on size and numbers and 
wealth, but not enough upon the new life which 
is bound up in them. All my days the epic 
of our future has sung itself in my ears, but as 
I grow into late middle age I think less of the 
pomp and pageantry and more of the grave 
austerity at the heart of it. I can foresee an 
empire where each part shall live to the full 
its own life and develop an autochthonous 
culture. But behind it all there will be the 


great catholic tradition in thought and feeling, 
in art and conduct, of which no one part, but 
the empire itself, is the appointed guardian. In 
that confraternity of peoples the new lands will 
redress the balance of the old, and will gain 
in return an inheritance of transmitted wisdom. 
Men will not starve in crowded islands when 
there are virgin spaces waiting for them, and 
young nations will not be adventurers in far 
lands, but children of a great household carrying 
the fire from the ancestral hearth. Our art will 
be quickened by a breath from a simpler and 
cleaner world, and the fibre of our sons will be 
strung to vigour by the glimpse of more spacious 
horizons. And our English race will vindicate 
to mankind that doctrine which is the noblest 
of its traditions — that liberty is possible only 
under the dominion of order and law, and that 
unity is not incompatible with the amplest 
freedom. We of the old countries shall give 
and receive. Our Trojan manhood, our Trojan 
Lares and Penates will be there, but so too 
will Latium and the ancient Ausonian rite& 
Do you remember how at the close of the 
^neid Juno asks from Jupiter that Italy may 
remain herself in spite of foreign conquest ? — 

' Sit Latium, sint Albani per saecola reges, 
Sit Romana potens Itala virtate propago.' 


And the King of the Gods replies : — 

' Sermonem Ausonii patrium moieaque tenebnnt, 
Utqne est nomBn erit ; camnuxti coTpora tuittim 
Snbsident Tencri. Moiem rituaque Bacronun 
Aijjiciam facumque onmes imo ore latinos. 
Hmc genna Aosonio miztum quod eauguine surget 
Supra homines, supra ire deoa pietate videbis. 
Nee gena nlla tuos aeque calebrabit honoree.' ' 

I take these words as the best and simplest 
statement of our &ith. That idea has been the 
master-passion of my life, and I ask no higher 
task than to contribute my mite of effort to so 
divine an end." 

There was silence for a little as Lord Launces- 
ton's quiet voice ceased. Then Carey from the 
fireplace spoke. 

"It is a religion," he said, "to me, and I 
think to others. If you quarrel with the word, 
I can only say that what any man desires with 
hi^ whole heart, what wakens all that is best 
in him and curbs all that is worst, is a religion, 
whatever else the term may mean. No man can 
be religious who is not a fighter, who does not 

> .Sneid, sii. 8S6, 8ST ; 834-840. " Let Latium stand, to all ag«s 
let there be Alban Idnga I let the Sonum stock be potent in Italian 
valour. . . . Her ancient speech and ways shall Auaonia keep, and 
as her name is, it ahall be ; mingled into her blood shall the Trojan 
sink. Law and holy rites will I add, and I will make Latins of all 
with a single tongue. Thence thou wilt see a race arise tempered 
of AusoDian blood, transoendiug men, yeh, and gods in dut;r> and do 
other folk will so nobly pa; thee thjr meed of worship." 
2 A 


know the odds which the world sets against him, 
who has not suffered and struggled and tried 
the temper of the human spirit against the iron 
rigour of nature. Beligion is not a comfortable 
thing of easy prayers and ready thanksgivings, 
but something as fierce and stubborn and con- 
siuning as life itself. How else is it to wither 
the hosts of the enemy? I want my allies to 
be fanatics. If my religion is not to include my 
politics, then I am content to have none, for 
to me the one as much as the other is an 
attempt to subdue the material world of our 
common sight into harmony with an unseen 
world of the spirit." 

The stillness which still reigned in the room 
showed the Duchess that an atmosphere had been 
created too emotional for her comfort. But in 
spite of herself she had been impressed, and 
the cool tones of her voice had an unwonted 
feeling in them as she once more brought back 
the discussion to what she considered a reason- 
able level 

''It is a great creed, no doubt, and I am 
not going to criticise. Some of it fi^ightens 
me a little, but then I am old-fashioned and 
easily frightened. The merit of it all seems to 
me to be that it allows for such ample differ- 
ences among its disciples. Tou can add to and 


subtract from it without altering its character. 
I suppose, Bob, that you would say that that 
is because it is a living thing, with all the 
generous waste and superabundance of life." 

Lord Appin rose and walked to the window, 
where he stood for a little before he replied. 

" Tes ; it is alive, and in saying that we have 
used the final word of commendation. There is 
room within its shadow for all the policies which 
can inspire the hearts of wise men to a keener 
public duty. There is room for Carey's mysti- 
cism, and Wakefield's practical good sense, and 
Susan's Liberal principles, and Lady Amjrsfort's 
Toryism — room, too, for the bard scientific 
faith of young men like Astbury and Hugh ; 
room even for Sir Edward's anarchic individual- 
ism. It is still a far-away ideal, and there is a 
long task before us till it has become a fact. 
Few of us here will live to witness the realis- 
ation, but we shall see the outworks passed, and 
Flora's grandchildren perhaps may see the win- 
ning of the fort. I have always been suspicious 
of political fervour. To me there is something ill- 
bred and irrational about a heart worn on the 
sleeve of the shabby garments we use in public 
life. But I hold the man in contempt who is 
afiraid to stake all on his ideal, and on this one 
ultimate ideal I have never wavered. I am on 



the verge of old age, and I can claim the privi- 
lege of a life of candour and fair criticism and 
permit myself once in a while to become an 
enthusiast. So in all hope and in all humility 
I would paraphrase the words of another con- 
verted cynic and adopt them as my confession 
of faith : * I shall see it, but not now : I shall 
behold it, but not nigh.'" 


The party wandered out to the verandah where 
a youDg moon was begmning to climh the vast 
arch of sky. So thin was its horn that it did not 
diminish the brilliance of the stars. The great 
trough beneath the house was lit by a stellar 
glow, which caught a few outjutting headlands 
in the sea of shadows, and outlined without 
revealing the abysses around them. The air was 
very quiet, cool without a hint of frost or wind ; 
and only the tinkle of falling water broke in 
upon the stillness. The light from the drawing- 
room filled half the verandah, but the edge near 
the parapet was dark, and to one standing there 
the great house, looming up against the sky, 
was like a pharos in the wastes of night. 

The Duchess with Lord Launceston and Mr 
Carey walked slowly towards the edge of the 
escarpment, their eyes caught by the ma^c of 
the scene. 

"This old earth," said Carey at last, lifting 


his head from his breast, — *'that is what we 
have business with. How to shape her into 
something more worthy of our best, and how 
in the process to learn from her her mysterious 
wisdom ! That is our problem. We have been 
too long away from her in barren cloudlanda 
Our new precept is that the kingdom of God 
is around us and within us." 

Lord Launceston laughed as they stopped to 
lean over the balustrade. "You have been an- 
ticipated,** he said, and he repeated : — 

" This way have men come out of brutishness 
To spell the letters of the sky and read 
A reflex upon earth else meaningless. 
With thee, fount of the Untimed ! to lead ; 
Drink they of thee, thee eyeing, they unaged 
Shall on through braye wars waged. 

More gardens will they win than any lost ; 
The vile plucked out of them, the unlovely slain. 
Kot forfeiting the beast with which they are crossed. 
To stature of the gods will they attain. 
They shall uplift their Earth to meet her Lord, 
Themselves the attuning chord ! " ^ 

"To-morrow," said the Duchess, "we all go 
home. I should not like Musuru to last for ever, 
but it rather spoils one's satisfaction in any other 
place. To-morrow we shall be crawling through 
the bush in the Mombasa train, and beginning to 

^ George Meredith, ' Hymn to Colour,' 13, 14. 


realise what a length of sea and land separates 
this house from those in which we live our ordin- 
ary lives* That is an allegory as well as a fact. 
We have behaved rather nicely, I think, Francis. 
Every one has been good-humoured and well- 
mannered, and we have kept more or less in the 
paths of sanity in spite of Barbara and you. I 
know I have tried to do my duty and coax people 
out of blank verse, and I have learned a great 
deal in the process, and am half inclined to the 
blank verse myself. Now, I suppose I must go 
on explaining to dull people that the Empire is 
something more than corrugated iron and an un- 
pleasant accent, and that that something more is 
not bloodshed to the strains of a brass band. It 
will be very difficult for all of us to get back to 
the right political groove. When we go home 
the dear idiots who govern us, including George, 
will probably be at each others' throats about 
whether the school children are to be taught the 
Church Catechism or the Sermon on the Mount. 
Of course we shall have to take sides, for it is 
the rule of the game : and yet how often I want 
to cry * A plague on both your Houses ! ' Is it 
possible that I am sickening for the disease of 
* grandeur * ? " 

" No,'* said Carey, " it only means that you are 
dropping some of your blue spectacles. You will 


find them and wear them again, but it does the 
eyes good to lose them for a little." 

" At any rate we are going back to some kind 
of work, and that is cheering. What happens to 
you, Francis ? Remember you are coming to us 
for Christmas." 

"I am always busy, and next week I have 
to go to the States. Then I join Wakefield 
in Canada, but I shall be home for Christmas. 
There is only one thing that depresses me in 
life, — the amoimt to be done and the little time 
left to do it in. After all, the great deeds are not 
for the middle-aged. Our business is to inspire 
the young, with whom the hope of the world 

" And yet we middle-aged have been galvan- 
ised into a surprising activity. Lord Laimceston 
is coming back to politics, and I believe that Bob 
has some wild scheme of colonial travel. Most 
discussions only leave one with a sense of the 
futility of all things, but ours has made us 
optimists. I suppose that is due to the nature 
of our subject. If you talk much about some- 
thing prosaic and practical, you remove it many 
degrees from reality. But if it is something 
which still lives only in the air, you may make 
it shape itself into body and form. What may 
have been only a mirage, becomes an authentic 


country, fax away, to be sure, but quite as real 
as the ground we walk on. Let us go and find 
the young people in whom Francis says our hope 
lies. Hugh is probably composing sonnets to 
Flora's eyebrows, and Mr Astbmry sitting at 
Marjory's feet, while Alastair and Sir Edward 
console each other for going back by abusing 
civilisation. How in the world am I to shepherd 
them all home ? " . . . 

At the other end of the terrace those whilom 
antagonists. Lord Appin and Mr Wakefield, were 
walking arm in arm, their cigars glowing in the 

'^ I shall take your advice," the elder man was 
saying. ''After all, what business have I to 
theorise about Empire when I have only studied 
a little comer of it ? I know English opinion ; 
I now want to know the way the different classes 
in the colonies feel about the whole thing. You 
cannot get that from newspapers, not even firom 
the men who come to see you in England. You 
must go and live in the place if you want to 
realise the true atmosphere of their thought. I 
fancied that you and I should differ violently, 
Wakefield, but I find we are nearer than we 
dreamed of. You emphasise parts of the ques- 
tion with which I am unfamiliar, and perhaps I 
should focus the details differently. But on the 




essentials I believe we are at one. If you may 
be taken to represent colonial opinion, I confess 
myself surprised at its idealism and statesman- 

" Excellent I " said Mr Wakefield. " And now 
I shall return the compliment. I came here 
prejudiced against what I called academic Im- 
perialism and veiy particularly prejudiced against 
you. With some of the things said here I have 
disagreed. Some I thought wrong, some too 
fantastic for practical politics. Parts of the 
discussion I am not sure that I understood, parts 
did not interest me, and if I had had my wiU 
I should have arranged the whole conference on 
a more businesslike system. But yet I have 
learned so much that I go away a wiser, as 
well as a much humbler, man. On the whole, 
I have been astounded — yes, astounded — by our 





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